John Conyers, longest-serving black congressman, passes away at 90

DETROIT (Gray News) – Longtime Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers Jr. has passed away at the age of 90.

Conyers was elected to his 26th term in 2014, and represented metropolitan Detroit.

His longevity in the body made him the first African-American to become dean of Congress, the most senior member among lawmakers in the nation’s capital, his website said.

He resigned in December 2017 after numerous allegations of sexual harassment surfaced against him.

He was accused of sexual harassment a month earlier during a flurry of allegations that brought down such celebrities as NBC Today Show co-host Matt Lauer. He was hospitalized in late November amid the allegations.

Conyers’ long career included support for such major legislation as the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Motor Voter Bill of 1993, and he introduced a measure to establish a holiday for Martin Luther King Jr. four days after the civil rights leader died after being shot in Memphis, TN. The measure was eventually passed by Congress and signed by President Ronald Reagan in November of 1983.

He also was a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), which was formed in 1969. The CBC remains an influential force in the Democratic Party.

Conyers was born in Detroit on May 16, 1929, and served in the National Guard and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during the Korean War. He was the father of two sons, and was married to Monica.

Copyright Gray Media Group, Inc.. All rights reserved.