White, Walter Francis


(1893–1955) of Atlanta; author and columnist; secretary, Atlanta branch, NAACP (1916–18); assistant secretary, NAACP (1918–31), in charge of investigating lynching; acting secretary, NAACP (1929–31); executive secretary, NAACP (1931–55); joined AFL (1935) in successful battle to defeat President Hoover’s nomination of Judge John J. Parker to U.S. Supreme Court; led successful fight (1946) to get the Senate to block seating of Theodore G. Bilbo of Mississippi, rabid racist who had attempted to kill FEPC by sponsoring amendment to deny it funding (1944); joined A. Philip Randolph in meeting with FDR (1941) to press demand for EO 8820; director, NAACP Washington bureau (1942–50). He was the nation’s most prominent civil rights leader during the postwar years. Among other activities, he pushed for desegregation of the armed forces, military installations, and federal housing; the protection of service members from violence; and Senate rules changes. He was best known for his crusade against lynching. In 1952, he founded the LCCR, which absorbed the NECRM and the NCPFEPC. He was chair of the LCCR from 1952 to 1955. He was friend of Eleanor Roosevelt.