the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release

Statement by the Vice President on the Passing of Dr. Benjamin Hooks

Jill and I are deeply saddened by the loss of a true civil rights hero, Benjamin Hooks. As head of the NAACP from 1977-1992, and throughout a distinguished legal career, his voice stood out among a generation of African-American men and women seeking together to eliminate racism and create a fairer, more just America for our nation’s children than the one Benjamin inherited as a child in Memphis, Tennessee. He was an ordained minister and he used the power of faith to inspire others to believe in the importance of civil rights—not just for the sake of black men and women, but for America as a whole. Benjamin once said that, “You can read the history of a country through its actions.” Benjamin’s actions helped write a better history. Those who follow his lead will help build a better future.