NAACP Remembers and Honors Bill Lynch

Civil rights giant, William “Bill” Lynch passed away last week at the age of 72. The NAACP lost a friend, advocate, mentor, NAACP Life member, and brother—better known to friends and family as the “Rumpled Genius.”

Bill Lynch was a political strategist, whose influence had both domestic and international implications. Some of his work included:  The political empowerment of the African American community in New York City—where he helped to elect the Big Apple’s first black mayor. 

When Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990, Lynch coordinated the massive New York welcome celebration for the anti-apartheid leader and organized the mayor’s diplomatic mission to South Africa.  Later, he became a key adviser to Mr. Mandela during his presidential campaign.

Bill Lynch was integral part of the One Nation Working Together Campaign--it all started in his office—just like the planning for the Stop and Frisk March in New York City. 

He was instrumental in bringing the Democratic National Convention to New York in 1992 and ran Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign in the state that year—later becoming the vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
He also worked on John Kerry’s presidential campaign in 2004, and was involved in Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2008.

Lynch has personally mentored a myriad of young strategists who now hold key positions within all levels of government as well as major civil rights organizations, including me.   Former White House political advisor and DNC Chair Patrick Gaspard—is also counted among his many powerful mentees.

Bill was laid to rest today—and it was clear from the audience in attendance, that he will be sorely missed.