Former U.S. Rep. Louis Stokes, a 15-term congressman from Ohio who took on tough assignments looking into assassinations and scandals, has died. He was 90.
He died peacefully with his wife, Jay, at his side, a month after he announced he had brain andlung cancer, his family said in a statement.
“During his illness, he confronted it as he did life — with bravery and strength,” the family said.
Stokes was elected to the House in 1968, becoming Ohio’s first black member of Congress and one of its most respected and influential. Just a year earlier, his brother, Carl, had been elected mayor of Cleveland — the first black elected mayor of a major U.S. city.
Louis Stokes was the dean of the delegation until he stepped down in 1999.
Stokes headed the House’s Select Committee on Assassinations that investigated the slayings of President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the late 1970s and concluded that in both cases, there “probably” had been a conspiracy.