Walter White (1893–1955) was reared and educated among Atlanta’s black middle class. After graduating from college in 1916, he became an insurance salesman and secretary of the local NAACP branch. In 1918 the NAACP hired White as assistant secretary at the national office on the recommendation of his mentor James Weldon Johnson. White won international acclaim for his crusade against mob violence, personally investigating 41 lynchings and 8 race riots. In 1931 he succeeded Johnson as NAACP executive secretary. The NAACP under his leadership focused attention on the horrors of lynching and pressed relentlessly to end segregation in education and travel. A prolific author, White wrote six books and numerous articles. He also wrote weekly newspaper columns and hosted a radio program.