BALTIMORE, May 17 (UPI) -- Benjamin Todd Jealous says he's ready to become the youngest national leader of the NAACP in the U.S. civil rights organization's 99-year history.
The 35-year-old activist said he is thrilled to have been picked to lead the organization and dedicate himself to the fight for better civil rights nationwide, The Baltimore Sun reported Saturday.
"I'm excited to take the helm of the NAACP," Jealous said Friday. "I believe in the urgent need for strong civil rights institutions and strong black institutions in general."
The final decision on the new NAACP leader was not made until early Saturday and Jealous was not a unanimous decision by the presiding association board.
The 64-member board ultimately approved the Columbia University graduate for the post thanks to the support of NAACP board Chairman Julian Bond.
The Sun said Jealous has long been a proponent of equal rights thanks to his family's involvement with the NAACP for five generations.
"I've spent my entire life in this movement," he said. "I was raised to believe that there is no greater calling than to serve your people in the cause of justice."