DePaul remembers Dr. Benjamin Hooks, one of the university’s most notable alumni, who passed away today at age 85. Army veteran, minister and vocal leader in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s, Hooks graduated from DePaul College of Law in 1948.
Hooks served as executive director of the NAACP from 1977 to 1982, and was the first African-American to be appointed commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission in 1972.
Benjamin was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civil honor, on Nov. 5, 2007. The White House citation says that he “has dedicated his life to equality, opportunity, and justice. He is a pioneer of the Civil Rights movement, and his efforts to extend the full promise of America to all its citizens have helped bring our nation closer to its founding ideals.”