Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement after the passing of John Payton, Esq., a longtime member of its Executive Committee and the President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.:
“John Payton was a warrior for justice and equality. He was a lawyer’s lawyer and an insightful activist.
John was comfortable in the courtroom, the board room, or the community setting – and was persuasive and effective wherever his analysis and skills were needed.
He cherished his role as President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. He was arguably a 21st Century Thurgood Marshall. The highest compliment I could pay him as an advocate is that he could run with the foxes and he could run with the hounds.
To say he will be sorely missed is an understatement of the highest order. We at The Leadership Conference have lost a dear friend and words alone cannot adequately express the true magnitude of this loss. ”
Wade Henderson is the president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.