(August 30, 1901-September 8, 1981)
Born in St. Louis, Missouri
Edited the newspapers 'The St. Paul Appeal' and 'The Kansas City Call' and the magazine 'The Crisis'
Co-founder of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (1950)
Executive director of the NAACP (1964-79)
Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1967)
Chaired the US delegation to the International Conference on Human Rights (1968)
Wrote the autobiography 'Standing Fast' (published posthumously, 1982)
Why he might be annoying
Throughout his life, he referred to blacks using the increasingly archaic word 'Negro.' (And headed an organization using the even more out of date 'colored.')
He got into a dispute with Martin Luther King, Jr over King's opposition to the Vietnam War, saying 'I don't believe civil rights groups have enough information on Vietnam, or on foreign policy, to make it their cause.'
Towards the end of his tenure at the NAACP, he was accused of poor record keeping and fiscal mismanagement.
Despite his advocacy of nonviolence, he said one of the two people he most admired in history was Nat Turner. (The other was Harriet Tubman.)
Why he might not be annoying
He was raised by his aunt and uncle after his mother died of tuberculosis.
He was married to Minnie Badeau for 51 years until his death.
With Thurgood Marshall, he planned the strategy for the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case, which he called his 'crowning achievement.'
He opposed demands by militants for all-black departments at universities, calling it a 'return to segregation and Jim Crow.'
He said, 'I may be an incurable optimist, but I believe there are more people who want to do good than do evil.'
Credit: C. Fishel
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Year In Review:
For 2013, as of last week, Out of 13 Votes: 84.62% Annoying
In 2012, Out of 29 Votes: 79.31% Annoying
In 2011, Out of 64 Votes: 75.00% Annoying
In 2010, Out of 129 Votes: 44.96% Annoying
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