NAACP Mourns Death of Arthur Fletcher

A friend and mentor to those in both political parties who believed in civil rights

Milwaukee ? The NAACP today mourns the death of Arthur "Art" Fletcher, a former advisor to three Republican presidents. He supervised the enforcement of equal opportunities for minorities in federally funded contracts in administrations of President's Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford and was an advisor to President George H.W. Bush.

"Art Fletcher was truly the father of affirmative action enforcement," said Julian Bond, Chairman of the NAACP Board of Directors. "As a Nixon Administration official, he revised the Johnson Administration's 'Philadelphia Plan' and made it a prototype of early affirmative action decrees. As he often said, it 'put flesh and blood on Dr. King's dream'."

Fletcher died yesterday in his Washington, D.C. home. He was 80-years-old.

In addition to being a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which he chaired from 1990 to 1993, Fletcher was a delegate to the United Nations and executive director of the United Negro College Fund. After serving in World War II, where he was wounded, Fletcher graduated from college, and for a short time played professional football. He was the first African American to play for the Baltimore Colts. He later earned a law degree and a Ph.D. in education.

The NAACP is the United States' oldest and largest civil rights organization, dedicated for 96 years to achieving equality for African-Americans and fighting racial discrimination against anyone. Its half-million members in 2200 local units scattered throughout the 50 states, Europe and the Pacific are the front-line grass roots troops for racial justice in their communities.

CONTACT: NAACP Office of Communications 410.580.5125

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