Benjamin Hooks (January 31, 1925 â€“ April 15, 2010) A Baptist minister and practicing attorney, Hooks served as executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) from 1977 to 1992, and throughout his career was a vocal champion of civil rights. In 1965, he became the first black judge to sit on the bench of a Tennessee state court since Reconstruction. In 1972, he became the first Black member of the Federal Communications Commission, where he championed minority ownership of television and radio stations. In addition, Rev. Hooks was a minister at two Baptist churches, in Memphis and Detroit, and sat on the board of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Southern Christian Leadership Conference.