Former Philadelphia NAACP President Jerry Mondesire passed away Sunday night surrounded by family and friends.
The 65 year old died after suffering a reported brain aneurysm while receiving dialysis Friday, and was then transferred to Thomas Jefferson Hospital, where he would pass away two days later.
Mondesire’s career began long before his run as NAACP President, as a City Desk Editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer, and writing for the Baltimore Sun. He acquired his own newspaper in 1991, a Sunday Weekly publication known as The Philadelphia Sunday Sun, and eventually expanded to an online version as well. Mondesire’s resume also included acting as chief of staff for Congressman William H. Gray until Gray’s retirement in 1992. Mondesire was a community affairs host with WDAS-FM radio for many years as well.
He was elected as President of the NAACP Philadelphia Chapter in 1996, and during his time as President, saw an increase in membership to over 5,000. In 2002, he was also elected as President of the Pennsylvania State Conference NAACP. Mondesire continued to hold the post of Philadelphia Chapter President until 2014, when he accused of misusing NAACP funds by board members. Mondesire and board members Donald Birts, Rev. Elisha Morris, and Sid Booker were all suspended from the NAACP. Despite the allegations, Mondesire was never charged with any crime.
Following Mondesire’s death, the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (PABJ), of which Mondesire was a founding member, released a statement honoring their colleague, saying he was “relentless crusader for human civil rights.” Cherri Gregg, president of the PABJ and former Temple Update reporter and anchor, praised Mondesire as “an advocate for those in Philadelphia without a voice.” You can read the full statement here.
According to a family statement released Sunday night, details of a memorial service have not yet been disclosed, but will be forthcoming in the next few days The PABJ has also announced they plan to honor Mondesire during its annual award banquet, which will take place on Saturday, October 17.