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WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 12: House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) (L) talks about helping hurricane ravaged Haiti during a news conference on Capitol Hill September 10, 2008 in Washington DC. Conyers called on the Bush administration and the international community to provide immediate aid to the country that that was hit hard by Hurricane Ike. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

He was a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus and represented Michigan and the Detroit area for more than 50 years.

The longest serving African American in Congressional history died Sunday at his home in Detroit according to the New York Times.

WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 26: Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) questions witnesses during a House Judiciary Committee hearing concerning the oversight of the U.S. refugee admissions program, on Capitol Hill, October 26, 2017 in Washington, DC. The Trump administration is expected to set the fiscal year 2018 refugee ceiling at 45,000, down from the previous ceiling at 50,000. It would be the lowest refugee ceiling since Congress passed the Refugee Act of 1980. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Born in 1929, Conyers championed civil rights and defending progressive causes, long before they became popular with the masses. He was first elected in 1964 after narrowly securing the Democratic nomination, but it would lead to a long and dutiful career for another 52  years.

 

Conyers, a son of Detroit, made sure to always give back to his home district throughout his career.

 

The NAACP released a statement on Sunday night mourning Conyers’ death, noting that the organization has lost “a life-long friend, and the nation has lost a fervent champion for equal justice.”

“From co-founding the Congressional Black Caucus, to advocating for the creation of Martin Luther King Day, some of the most important civil rights victories of the last half-century would not have been possible without the enduring leadership of Rep. Conyers in Washington,”  Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP said in a statement. “As a Detroit native, I can attest to what John Conyers meant to his beloved Detroit community, and we are eternally grateful that he fought for justice on behalf of the entire nation with the same commitment and perseverance he showed his beloved hometown.”

 

This article will be updated with funeral details when they become available.