W. E. B. Du Bois (1868–1963) was the author of nineteen works, an editor of four magazines, a founding officer of the NAACP, and one of the most articulate champions against racism of his time. In a collection of essays, The Souls of Black Folk (1903), he portrayed the humanity of the black race. His opus, Black Reconstruction in America (1935), challenged prevailing opinion that blacks were responsible for the failures of the Reconstruction Era. An ardent activist throughout his life, he died one year before the Civil Rights Act was signed into law.