The longest serving African American in congressional history, and founder of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. John Conyers has died. He was 90.
According to a family spokesperson, Rep. Conyers died Sunday at his home in Detroit from natural causes.
Throughout his career, the Congressman used his influence to push civil rights. After a 15-year fight, he won passage of legislation declaring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a national holiday, first celebrated in 1986. He regularly introduced a bill starting in 1989 to study the harm caused by slavery and the possibility of reparations for slaves’ descendants. That bill never got past a House subcommittee.
His district office in Detroit employed civil rights legend Rosa Parks from 1965 until her retirement in 1988. In 2005, he was among 11 people inducted to the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame.
He leaves behind his wife, Monica Conyers and their two sons, John III, and Carl Edward Conyers.