June 22, 2024

Michigan Rep. John Conyers dies at age 90

Democratic congressman John Conyers served in the House from 1965 until December 2017, becoming the longest serving Black congressman. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Former Michigan Representative John Conyers passed away on Sunday at aged 90, his family announced.

According to the Huffington Post, the Democratic congressman served in the House from 1965 until December 2017, becoming the longest serving Black congressman until when he resigned following allegations that he sexually harassed several female staffers.

READ MORE: John Conyers will reportedly retire, grandson expected to run for seat

Born in Highland Park, Michigan in 1929, Conyers saw himself thrusted into the political arena during a tumultuous time during the Civil Rights Movement. During his first year in office, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, an important piece of legislation that guaranteed voting rights to Black Americans, which the new congressman helped to introduce.

Conyers would go on to be one of the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus. The Huffington Post noted that during his final three years in office, he was the “dean” of the House, a title given to the longest continuously serving member.

Yet Conyers’ longevity and legacy was not without its controversy, as the congressman was accused of giving female employees unwanted sexual advances and mistreating them, according to the Washington Post. Eighty years old at the time of his resignation, Conyers was hospitalized shortly after his resignation for what his attorney described as a stress-related illness.

READ MORE: House leaders Nancy Pelosi, Paul Ryan call for John Conyers’ resignation

“My legacy can’t be compromised or diminished in any way by what we’re going through now,” Conyers told a radio station, according to the New York Times.

It was later found that Conyers reached a $27,000 settlement with a former female staffer, which the Washington Post noted intensified scrutiny of Congress for its secretive system of settling harassment complaints. Yet, he still had many supporters.

It has not yet been revealed what caused Conyers’ death.

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