Roy Wilkins (1901–1981) was born in St. Louis, the son of a minister. While attending the University of Minnesota, he served as secretary of the local NAACP. After graduation he began work as the editor of the Kansas City Call, a black weekly. The headline coverage Wilkins gave the NAACP in the Call attracted the attention of Walter White, who hired him as NAACP assistant secretary in 1931. From 1934 to 1949, Wilkins served concurrently as editor of The Crisis. In 1950 he became NAACP administrator and cofounded the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. He succeeded Walter White as NAACP executive secretary in 1955. Under his leadership the NAACP achieved school desegregation and major civil rights legislation, and reached its peak membership. Wilkins retired in 1977 as the longest-serving NAACP leader.