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.
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.
I'm seeing that John Conyers died. He was a real fighter for racial justice. He gave Rosa Parks a job when her family fled to Detroit and was broke. She worked for him from 1965-1988. He pushed reparations for DECADES (when it wasn't popular).— #AbolitionMeansNoPrisons (@prisonculture) October 27, 2019
You never want to hear about the passing of a friend. The longest serving African-American House member in Congressional history, John Conyers Jr. was a fearless civil rights leader, Korean War veteran, and meant a lot to the state of Michigan.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) October 28, 2019
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.