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John Conyers, longest serving black congressman, dies at 90

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., speaks during a hearing of the House Judiciary subcommittee on Capitol Hill in Washington in 2017.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., speaks during a hearing of the House Judiciary subcommittee on Capitol Hill in Washington in 2017.

DETROIT >> Former Rep. John Conyers, the longest-serving black member of Congress and founder of the Black Caucus, has died. The Detroit Democrat was 90.

Detroit police say the former congressman died at his home today. Police spokesman Cpl. Dan Donakowski says Conyers died of what appears to be natural causes.

Conyers’ resolutely liberal stance on civil rights and civil liberties made him a political institution. He also fought for 15 years to get the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday designated a national holiday.

A jazz aficionado from an early age, Conyers became one of only six black House members when he narrowly won his first election in 1964.

But his legacy was smeared in 2017 following allegations that he sexually harassed female staffers. He denied the allegations but eventually stepped down, citing health reasons, saying his legacy couldn’t be diminished.

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