People For the American Way

Statement from PFAW President Michael Keegan on the Passing of John Payton

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 23, 2012

Contact: Drew Courtney or Miranda Blue at People For the American Way

Email: media@pfaw.org

Phone Number: 202-467-4999

Other: Array

We were deeply saddened by the news of John Payton’s passing. In addition to serving as President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, John was a longstanding board member of People For the American Way.

John’s death is a tragic loss for the Civil Rights community and the PFAW family. In addition to being a brilliant attorney who won important victories for equality at the Supreme Court, John was generous with his wisdom and passionately committed to the values that we fight for every day. Since he joined the PFAW board more than twenty years ago, his support and guidance have had an enormous impact on our organization.

President Obama was absolutely correct this morning when he called John “a true champion of equality.”

Our thoughts are with his family. He will be deeply missed.