ANNAPOLIS, Md. (March 23, 2012) – Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown released the following statement today on the passing Thursday night of NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund President and Director-Counsel John A. Payton:
“With the sudden passing of my friend John Payton, our nation has suffered a great and irreplaceable loss. John’s fearless pursuit of equality has opened the door of opportunity for countless Americans, from every walk of life, of every race, ethnicity and religion. It was a profound honor to have been able to work with, and more importantly learn from, one of the great advocates for justice in our time. John understood the value of service as well as anyone I have ever known, always taking the time to provide counsel and guidance to those in need. We have lost an unparalleled leader in the cause of civil rights. I am deeply saddened, and I extend my love, thoughts and prayers to his wife Gay and all who have known and loved John.”
Lt. Governor Brown and John Payton collaborated on pro bono cases in the 1990s as colleagues at the firm of Wilmer Hale.