Louis Stokes, Ohio's 1st Black Congressman, Dies

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Former Ohio Congressman Louis Stokes died Tuesday, August 18th after a battle with lung and brain cancer. He was 90-years-old.

Stokes was the first African-American member of Congress from the state of Ohio.

Born in Cleveland, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1968.  He served 30 years in Congress, retiring in 1999.

Congressman Stokes' tenure in Congress included serving on the House Appropriations Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. The Congressman was the Chairman of the House Select Committee on assassinations that examined the deaths of President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  He also chaired the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct (Ethics Committee) and was a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

The Stokes family issued the following statement:

"Our family is mourning the loss of our husband, father, grandfather and close confidant.  He died peacefully with Jay, his wife of 55 years, at his side.  During his illness, he confronted it as he did life -- with bravery and strength. He was always guided by faith, while embracing the prayers and well wishes of family, friends and constituents.

We are grateful for the cards, prayers and words of comfort during this difficult time.  He loved Cleveland and he was honored to have the opportunity to represent its citizens in the United States Congress.  He was equally committed to our family, and his love knew no bounds.  It is this enduring love that will sustain us in the days and years to come."

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