Roy Wilkins

Roy Wilkins
Wilkins (Photo Credit: Minnesota Historical Society Photographer: Cecil Layne)

1901 – 1981 

Roy Wilkins led the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) from 1955 to 1977 and today is recognized as a giant of the civil rights struggle. 

Born in St. Louis and raised in Minnesota, Wilkins in 1923 joined The Kansas City Call, where the young newsman chronicled racial injustice and championed civil rights. In 1931 he went to New York City, succeeding W.E.B. Du Bois as editor of the NAACP’s magazine The Crisis. 

Under his leadership the NAACP grew from 25,000 to more than 400,000 members, earning this “senior statesman” of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement the respect of millions.