NAACP leader Ben Jealous stepping down

President and CEO of the NAACP Benjamin Jealous speaks during a National Press Club luncheon August 29, 2013 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Getty Images

The president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Benjamin Jealous, announced Sunday he plans to step down by the end of the year.

Jealous, who led the nation's largest civil rights organization for five years, said he plans to teach at a university and spend more time with his family.

"Under his leadership, the NAACP has built a highly competent staff that will carry our mission forward and meet the civil rights challenges of the 21st century," said Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the NAACP Board of Directors.

Jealous is credited with improving the Baltimore-based organization's finances and donor base over the past five years and for improving outreach. He became its youngest president when he was hired at age 35.