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For Immediate Release

Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Stacie B. Royster
202-662-8317, office

Press Release

Lawyers’ Committee Honors Legacy of Benjamin Hooks


The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law joins the nation in mourning the loss of civil rights icon Benjamin Hooks, former executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Mr. Hooks was indeed a stalwart champion for issues affecting minorities and poor persons across the United States.


"Mr. Hooks, who personally faced racial segregation and discrimination, was a true leader of the civil rights movement and strong advocate for self-help in the Black community," said Lawyers' Committee Executive Director Barbara R. Arnwine. "I am tremendously grateful for his unyielding commitment to social justice and his courage. For example, in a White House meeting with President George H.W. Bush he personally admonished the Administration's lack of attention to inner city poverty and lack of support for public education."

"His legacy is exemplified not only by his successful longtime tenure at the NAACP, but also throughout his distinguished career, which included serving as chair of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (now Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund), where I first came to know him as an invaluable friend, and becoming the first black criminal court judge in Tennessee in 1965," Ms. Arnwine continued. "His active engagement on a wealth of issues critical to justice and equality for all will certainly be cherished."

We extend sincere condolences to his family and our sister organization, the NAACP. We wish them peace during this difficult time.


The Lawyers’ Committee is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to enlist the private bar’s leadership and resources in combating racial discrimination and the resulting inequality of opportunity – work that continues to be vital today.

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