Cornell William Brooks, the man who just taken top office at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is only 53 years-old yet has achieved an impressive career prior to being named the new president and CEO of the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization.

The organization’s 64-person board of directors picked Brooks to lead a new chapter for the NAACP by an overwhelmingly majority. Brooks replaces most recent president Ben Jealous, who at 35 was the youngest person to serve in that position, and interim president and former clerk of the U.S. House Lorraine Miller.

Interestingly, the 18th leader of the NAACP already has ties with the civil rights organization that dates back to the Brown v. Board of Education, won by Thurgood Marshall and a team of NAACP attorneys.

“[I am] extraordinarily humbled and honored” at being chosen to lead the 105-year-old civil rights organization, Brooks said.

Here are 5 things to know about Cornell William Brooks:

1. Direct beneficiary of Brown v. Board Education

“I am a beneficiary, an heir and a grandson, if you will, of Brown versus Board of Education,” Brooks told the AP. “…so as a consequence, I am an heir to the legacy of the NAACP.”

2. Received bachelor’s at a black college

Brooks earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Jackson State University.

3. Beat out more than 450 other applicants

Brooks is surprisingly popular among NAACP inner circles. He bested his competition in a nationwide search that included a review of more than 450 applications, and remember he was selected by an overwhelmingly majority by the board of directors.

“Attorney Brooks is a long-term lawyer, a human rights activist and a fourth-generation ordained minister and so we look forward to leveraging his experience … and his keen vision,” NAACP chairwoman Roslyn Brock said.

4. Yale Law School senior editor

At Yale Law School Brooks was senior editor of the Yale Law Journal.

5. Looking forward

Recently the civil rights organization took on the “Stand Your Ground” laws that sparked controversy during the Trayvon Martin trial and voting rights. The NAACP is expected to continue its fight for civil rights among all people in the future.

Brooks told the USA Today that he plans to “fight to insure voting rights, economic equality, health equity and an end to racial discrimination for all people.”

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