NAACP Statement on the Passing of Actress and Activist Ruby Dee

(Baltimore, M.D.) --  In tribute to an extraordinary, multifaceted career spanning more than seven decades as an actor, author, director, producer and civil rights activist, the NAACP released the following statements in response to the death of passing of Ruby Dee.

From Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the NAACP Board of Directors:

“Today we lost a true gem in the civil rights and entertainment community. With a career spanning seven decades and numerous achievements – including being an NAACP Spingarn recipient in 2008, Ruby Dee blazed a trail for African American artists by advocating for racial equality in the performing arts.  She was a courageous and fearless activist, who tirelessly committed herself to social, economic and political causes, including emceeing the historic 1963 March on Washington. Ms. Dee will be deeply missed; but her contributions and legacy will live with us forever.”

From Lorraine C. Miller, Interim NAACP President and CEO:

“Emmy winner and civil rights activist Ruby Dee was an iconic force in Hollywood that the world will always remember. Through her many powerful roles, Ms. Dee paved the way for a generation of talented African American actresses. A pioneer in both her art and her activism, Ms. Dee, alongside her late husband Ossie Davis, served as masters of ceremonies for the historic 1963 March on Washington and she spoke at both of the funerals for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. In a career spanning seven decades, Ms. Dee will be forever known as a powerhouse in the performing arts community and in the arena of civil rights. In recognition of her commitment to making the dream of equality and justice a reality for all, Ms. Dee received the NAACP's prestigious Spingarn award. Our dear friend will be sorely missed.”


Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities.  You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our five “Game Changer” issue areas here.

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