Benjamin Hooks (1925–2010) received his law degree from DePaul University, after attending Howard University. He won renown in several fields. In 1965 he became the first black judge to serve in the Tennessee criminal court. An ordained minister, he led two churches and cofounded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. As a businessman he cofounded a bank and owned fried chicken franchises. In 1972 he became the first black commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission. He was unanimously elected NAACP Executor Director in 1977. Hooks initiated the ACT-SO and Fair Share programs; revived NAACP membership; and erased the organization’s debt. Under his leadership the NAACP also took a more aggressive stance on U.S. policies towards Africa. He retired from the NAACP in 1992.