OLD GREENWICH, Conn. -- Police say civil rights leader Alfred Baker Lewis, who was struck and killed by a train Thursday, apparently committed suicide.
Lewis, a member of the NAACP board of directors for more than 40 years, was hit by a commuter train pulling into Old Greenwich station Thursday morning and was pronounced dead at the scene.
He was 83.
'We have every belief that he took his life. We're treating it as a suicide,' Police Chief Raymond Grant said.
Lewis of Riverside, was treasurer emeritus of the NAACP and had been a member of the board of directors since 1939. He served as treasurer from 1958 until 1970 and had also been active in NAACP branches in Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Funeral arrangements were incomplete.
NAACP spokesman Paul Brock issued a statement from the board of directors, praising Lewis as 'a rare man' and 'a man of many talents.'
Lewis, who wrote the first bill on unemployment insurance ever presented to Massachusetts lawmakers, for the past decade had traveled across the United States speaking on behalf of the NAACP civil rights campaign.
Late last year Lewis completed his autobiography, 'A Political Odyssey _ Alone and Together.'