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Civil rights leader Rogers Johnson dies at 62

November 14, 2020 GMT

STRATHAM, N.H. (AP) — Rogers Johnson, a former New Hampshire lawmaker and longtime civil rights leader, has died.

Johnson, who served as president of the Seacoast NAACP and was chair of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion, died Thursday at age 62.

Johnson also served as a member of statewide commissions related to police accountability and equity in the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. A Republican who represented Stratham as a state representative from 2001 to 2006, he was the was the first Black lawmaker to serve as House Majority whip.

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In a statement Friday, Gov. Chris Sununu praised Johnson for his tireless leadership and advocacy in making New Hampshire a more diverse and equitable state.

“We will carry on this work in his legacy and honor, and all of New Hampshire mourns his passing,” Sununu said.

Johnson, who was born in New York, was an insurance salesman and executive who also served as the director of intergovernmental affairs for the U.S. Department of Education during the Bush administration. In addition to leading the Seacoast NAACP chapter, he was treasurer of the organization’s New England regional conference.

Johnson is survived by his wife and two sons. Visitation is set for Wednesday followed by a private funeral.