Thousands attend Hooks funeral

April 21, 2010 at 11:41 PM
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MEMPHIS, April 21 (UPI) -- Thousands of family, friends and admirers turned out in Memphis Wednesday for the funeral of civil rights leader Benjamin Hooks.

Among the mourners at Temple of Deliverance was Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and chief executive of the national NAACP, who said they were there "to honor the godfather of the NAACP and the civil rights movement," WPTY-TV, Memphis, reported.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. called Hooks "a Renaissance man of the civil rights movement," noting he was "a judge, an author, a theologian, a broadcaster and a soldier."

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., praised Hooks, saying he "helped to liberate not just a people, but a nation."

Hooks, 85, died at his Memphis home Thursday.

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