NAACP's Ben Jealous to Step Down in January

When he took over five years ago at 35, Jealous became the youngest president of the civil rights group.

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NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

In a surprise move, Benjamin Todd Jealous, NAACP president and CEO, says he plans to step down in January, the Washington Post reports. He is slated to make the announcement on Monday.

Five years ago when Jealous took the helm of the 104 year-old civil rights group, he became the youngest president in its history. At age 35, he was a relative unknown in Washington circles, having been a Rhodes Scholar and nonprofit leader who had cut his teeth as an activist in New York and California, among other places. 

When Jealous leaves the NAACP in January, he will do so as one of the nation's most prominent civil rights leaders and a man who has stood on the biggest political stages. He is a regular guest on cable news shows and carried a travel schedule that had him away from his Silver Spring home, wife Lia Epperson and their two young children 145 days a year. 

Last week, Jealous said that his tenure at NAACP was a sprint that has left the organization with more technological savvy and on sounder financial footing. It now has 420,000 mobile subscribers. The organization's e-mail list has jumped from 174,000 when Jealous joined to 1.3 million. In the 2012 election cycle, NAACP registered 374,553 new voters — more than double the number it registered in 2008. 

Read more at the Washington Post.

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