Conyers
Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., front second left, delivers his remarks calling for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to resign as Chairman of the CBC. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, and Reps. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., left, Kendrick Meek, D-Fla, back second right, listen on Capitol Hill, in Washington | Photo by Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP/Shutterstock

John Conyers Jr., Co-Founder of the Congressional Black Caucus, Dies at 90

John Conyers Jr., who co-founded the Congressional Black Caucus, helped create Martin Luther King Jr. Day and became the longest-serving Black person in Congress, died on Sunday at his home in Detroit, spokeswoman Holly Baird confirmed. He was 90.

Conyers’ long political career as a Democrat from Michigan began in 1964 when he was only one of five Black people in the House. Over the decades, he was reelected 26 times. He eventually became the “dean of the House of Representatives” because when he finally resigned at 88 years old, he was the longest-serving member of the House.

“For the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressman Conyers was more than a founding member. He was a guiding light,” the Congressional Black Caucus said in a statement Monday. “We will continue his vision by serving as the ‘Conscience of the Congress’ in pursuit of justice for all Americans. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife, sons, family, and friends. A son of Detroit and champion of civil rights, Mr. Conyers lived a life dedicated to serving the community in which he was raised. He leaves a legacy of more than five decades of systematic change that continues to transform our country for the better to this day.”

Conyers has had a hand in many of the most influential bills and political movements of his time — he co-sponsored the Voting Rights Act of 1965, was openly against the Vietnam War and voted against the USA Patriot Act after 9/11, which rolled back civil liberties for all Americans, supposedly in the name of national security.

“In many districts around the country, black voters did not feel represented by their leaders, so they would reach out to African American congressmen like Con­yers,” Michael Fauntroy, a former intern for Conyers in the early 1980s, told The Washington Post.

Related Article: Jaren Hall Makes History as First Black Quarterback to Start for BYU

However, the long-time politician resigned in disgrace at 88 years old in 2017 after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct with his female staffers were reported. According to Buzzfeed News’ reporting, several of the women who worked in his office claimed that he propositioned them for sex and touched them without their consent.

A wrongful dismissal complaint that started the inquiry into Conyers said that a female staffer was fired because she would not have sex with the congressman. That eventually settled for thousands of dollars. But when it hit the media, he faced calls to step down. He did but has denied all of the allegations.

Latest News

Facebook logo

Facebook Forced To Pay a Record $14-Million Settlement for Discriminating Against US Workers

October continues to be a month Facebook likely wishes it could forget. First came Frances Haugen, the whistleblower who explained in chilling detail how the site and its algorithms are designed to profit off what she called “the spread and amplification of hate, misinformation and political unrest.” Then there was…

AbbVie’s ‘Ability’ Employee Resource Group on How the Company Champions People With Seen and Unseen Disabilities

Originally published at stories.abbvie.com. AbbVie ranked No. 15 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   In the sixth of a seven-part Employee Resource Group (ERG) series, we’re shining the spotlight on Ability at AbbVie. This group focuses on advocacy and inclusion, uniting employees with disabilities,…

United States Capitol Building

More Than 300 Black Congressional Staffers Decry Lack of Diversity on Capitol Hill; Challenge Lawmakers To ‘Do Better’

Regardless of which party is in power at any given time, people of color continue to be woefully underrepresented in not just elected office but also within support roles working for those lawmakers. And now, hundreds of these staffers are speaking out about what they call an “appalling” lack of…