NEW YORK, NY - The NAACP mourns the loss of civil rights leader and New York City political adviser William (Bill) Lynch, Jr. Lynch was a mentor and adviser to many prominent politicians and causes in New York City and across the nation, including many leaders in the NAACP. He passed away Friday afternoon.
"Bill Lynch always embodied the spirit of the NAACP," stated NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock. "He was a tireless worker, dedicated to social justice, and never sought the spotlight. He will truly be missed, but his legacy lives on in the many young organizers and activists he mentored."
"Bill was the godfather of the black organizers in the civil and human rights movement in the United States. He was also my personal mentor," stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. "In the fifteen years I knew Bill, there was not a single major decision I made that I did not consult him on. He was a leader’s leader, the one to whose judgment we all deferred.
"He made David Dinkins the first black mayor of New York City, David Patterson the first black governor of New York, and paved the way for the first black president of the United States," added Jealous. "He played an immeasurable role in fostering the spirit of cooperation that defines the relationships between major civil rights leaders and between the civil rights movement and the labor movement. Bill may have been the greatest living organizer still active in our times."
Lynch spent decades advising political candidates and mentoring young organizers in New York City. Some of his clients have included Nelson Mandela, Dinkins and Patterson. In 1999, he founded the political consulting firm Bill Lynch Associates, LLC, where he has served as chairman since its founding.