Rogers Johnson, President of Seacoast NAACP, Dies at 62
Rogers Johnson, who dedicated much of his live to making New Hampshire and the country more diverse and inclusive, has died at the age of 62.
Johnson served as president of the Seacoast National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and as chairman of the Governor's Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion.
Gov. Chris Sununu shared the news on Twitter, writing "it is with great sadness that we share the passing of Rogers Johnson, who was a great friend," Sununu said. "He was always laser-focused on making NH a more diverse and equitable state, and thanks to his tireless leadership and advocacy over these last few years, NH has made tremendous strides."
According to the Seacoast NAACP website, Johnson was born in Rye, New York but later relocated to the New Hampshire Seacoast where he attended Phillips Exeter and eventually earned a Masters of Health Administration from the University of New Hampshire.
Over the last two decades, Johnson has held numerous positions at both the state and national level, including having served as a state representative in the New Hampshire General Court and later as the House Majority Whip, the first African American to hold the position in the state’s history.
Under President George W. Bush, Johnson served in Washington, D.C. with the U.S. Department of Education as the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs under then Secretary Margaret Spellings before ultimately returning to New Hampshire and continuing to serve his state in a variety of roles.
"We will carry on this work in his legacy and honor," Sununu wrote, "and all of New Hampshire mourns his passing. While his work made an impact both in New Hampshire and across the country, Rogers was first and foremost an incredible husband, father, and friend. ... I extend my deepest sympathies to Rogers’ wife Poppy, his sons Jay and Jeremy, and all those who knew and loved him."
Johnson's cause of death was not immediately known at the time of publishing.