Statement from Melanie Hudson, executive director of the Children’s Health Forum, on the Passing of Dr. Hooks
Today, I join with the Board of the Children’s Health Forum to mourn the loss of our beloved founder and chair, Dr. Benjamin Lawson Hooks, the inspiration and driving force behind our mission to ensure a brighter future for all children. Our thoughts and prayers are with his cherished wife, Frances, and the entire Hooks family.
We also celebrate the life and legacy of a selfless and determined leader, an iconic founding father of the civil rights movement, a champion for justice and fairness, and a voice for the voiceless, that is embodied in his work with the Children’s Health Forum.
When Dr. Hooks created the Children’s Health Forum in 2002, he brought with him a lifetime of wisdom and understanding in how to enact lasting change and impact people’s lives for the better. His leadership on behalf of all people, regardless of race or circumstance, carried forward to the work of CHF, and in partnership with the late Secretary Jack Kemp they molded an organization that fights every day to protect the most vulnerable children and keep them free from the scourge of disease.
Dr. Hooks often remarked, “If I can help somebody along the way, then my living will not have been in vain.” It is impossible to count the numbers of people he helped throughout his life, many of whom may never know his name but will feel his impact every day. The spirit of Dr. Hooks will live on in the lives of so many, and the Children’s Health Forum will redouble ourselves to carrying out our mission inspired by this American hero and friend.