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NAACP president to step down by year-end: statement

Benjamin Jealous, president and CEO of NAACP, speaks during a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream"
Benjamin Jealous, president and CEO of NAACP, speaks during a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream"

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The president of the NAACP, Benjamin Jealous, will step down on December 31 after five years in the post, the civil rights group said on Sunday in a statement posted on its web site.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Jealous said he was stepping down in order to spend more time with his young children, aged 7 years and 13 months. He told the newspaper published on Sunday that he is also considering teaching.

In a tweet on Sunday, Jealous said he was proud of his five years at the NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. "Today we are the largest civil rights org in the streets online on mobile, and at the polls!" he tweeted.

He also applauded the group's successes in attracting donors, pointing to data that showed the number of donors had risen from 16,000 five years ago to 132,000 currently while the group's success in getting supporters to the poll increased from 500,000 voters in 2008 to 1.2 million in 2012.

Jealous, who was just 35 when he was named to head the NAACP in 2008, has been credited with taking a dwindling organization which was headed toward irrelevancy and giving it new vitality with campaigns to end the death penalty and using text messages to get out the vote, the Post said.

There was no immediate word of a successor.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Diane Craft)

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