NEW YORK -- Kelly Alexander Sr., chairman of the NAACP's board of directors, died at his home in Charlotte, N.C., the civil rights organization announced Thursday. He was 69.
Alexander, who had dedicated more than 40 years of his life to the civil rights movement, died late Tuesday.
Alexander was 'a fearless warrior who bowed to no foe,' said NAACP executive Director Benjamin Hooks.
'The NAACP family extends its deepest sorrow to Kelly Alexander's family,' Hooks said. 'But we rejoice that he lived long enough to see the frontiers of the Promised Land. Full justice and equality beckon to us now as we move ahead. We shall carry on the struggle in his name.'
First elected president of the NAACP chapter in Charlotte in 1940, Alexander undertook to revitalize the group despite danger to himself and his family, the NAACP said. In 1965 he and his family escaped injury when their home was bombed.
In 1948 he was elected to the North Carolina Conference of Branches and served in that capacity until 1984 when his son Kelly Jr. was elected to succeed him.
Alexander Sr. was first elected to the NAACP National Board in 1950 and served there continuously while maintaining leadership of a seven state region of the association.
In 1976 he was elected vice chairman of the board of directors and was made chairman in 1984.
He was presented Aug. 18, on his 69th birthday, with the first annual Kelly Alexander Sr. Humanitarian Award for 'leadership and dedication.'
Born in Charlotte he attended public schools and later the Tuskegee Institute before continuing on to graduate from the Renouard College of Embalming in New York. He ran a successful family funeral home in his name.
He is survived by his wife of 13 years, Margaret Gilreece,, and sons Kelly Jr. and Alfred.
Funeral services were scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday at the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, Charlotte.