New York, NY, April 16, 2010 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) mourns the passing of Dr. Benjamin Lawson Hooks, a passionate voice for justice and civil rights.
Robert G. Sugarman, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
We mourn the loss of Dr. Benjamin Hooks. As the leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for 15 years and a fighter for equality and civil liberties throughout his life, Dr. Hooks spoke out consistently against racism and intolerance. His leadership of the NAACP was characterized by a willingness to reach out to others and build bridges. ADL was honored to consider Dr. Hooks a partner and friend and appreciated his uplifting keynote remarks at a number of our national meetings.
When President George W. Bush presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Dr. Hooks in 2007, he quoted him as having once said: "You've got to believe that tomorrow somehow can be, and will be, better than today." Of course, it takes more than belief – building a better tomorrow takes determination and action – and Dr. Hooks' extraordinary contributions to the civil rights movement helped create that better tomorrow.