The former dean of Congress, U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Detroit), died on Sunday at age 90.
The news was first reported by WXYZ-TV in Detroit. Conyers served 53 years in the U.S. House and was a champion of civil rights. He had the distinction of serving on two impeachment committees for Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.
Conyers was a Korean War veteran first elected in 1964. He resigned in December 2017 after a sexual harassment scandal. Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones won the remainder of his term in a special election last year. U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) now represents the 13th District.
A founder of the Congressional Black Caucus and longtime chair of the powerful U.S. House Judiciary Committee, Conyers was known for introducing legislation to honor Martin Luther King Jr. with a federal holiday. He also championed single-payer health care.
Civil rights icon Rosa Parks was a longtime member of his staff.
“Congressman John Conyers was a lifelong Detroiter who was deeply committed to the city and to those he represented,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. His impact on our state, whether by spearheading reforms in criminal justice and voting rights in Congress or through his lifetime of civil rights activism, will not be forgotten. I extend my deepest condolences to Congressman Conyers’ family for their loss.”
Several political and civil rights leaders remembered Conyers on Sunday, including NAACP President Derrick Johnson:
Former Congressman John Conyers has died at age 90
— Derrick Johnson (@DerrickNAACP) October 27, 2019
U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.):
Another lifelong public servant has left us. I was proud to be a partner year after year with @RepJohnConyers on our fight to end racial profiling by law enforcement. The struggle continues but he will now #RestInPeace https://t.co/31uxRoN4iq
— Senator Ben Cardin (@SenatorCardin) October 27, 2019
State Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown Twp.):
Congressman Conyers represented parts of Downriver for over a decade. We're thankful for his service to our community and our country.
— Darrin Camilleri (@darrincamilleri) October 27, 2019