- NAME: Benjamin Hooks
- OCCUPATION: Civil Rights Activist, Lawyer, Judge, Minister
- BIRTH DATE: January 31, 1925
- DEATH DATE: April 15, 2010
- Did You Know?: Benjamin Hooks remained in his prominent role as head of the NAACP, even while civil rights leaders were being targeted and threatened with bombs in 1989 and 1990.
- Did You Know?: Benjamin Hooks was Tennessee's first African-American criminal judge, as well as the first African-American commissioner of the FCC.
- EDUCATION: Le Moyne College, Howard University, DePaul University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Memphis, Tennessee
- PLACE OF DEATH: Memphis, Tennessee
- Full Name: Benjamin Lawson Hooks
- AKA: Benjamin L. Hooks
- AKA: Benjamin Hooks
Best Known For
In his career, Benjamin Hooks worked as a lawyer, judge and minister. He was also a civil rights activist who later served as executive director of the NAACP.
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However, Hooks—who commented in 1992 that he "had the misfortune of serving eight years under Reagan and three under Bush"—had to deal with growing opposition to affirmative action, as well as declining government support for social programs. He was also criticized for not ensuring that the NAACP kept up with changing needs in the African-American community. In 1993, he stepped down from his position.
At the age of 85, Hooks died in Memphis on April 15, 2010. He was survived by his wife, Frances, and their daughter, Patricia Gray. Before his death, he had received many accolades, such as the NAACP's Spingarn Medal, awarded in 1986, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, given by President George W. Bush in 2007.
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