RIP John Conyers — Longest Serving Black Congressman Dead At 90

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How Did John Conyers Die? New Details On Death Of Longest Serving Black Congressman At 90

The longest-serving Black member of Congress in U.S. history, died October 27th at age 90. John James Conyers Jr. was a member of the Democratic party and served for 53 years from 1965 to 2017 in the U.S. House of Representatives. He continuously fought for civil rights while representing western Detroit, according to Detroit News.

Conyers will lie in state from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. The schedule still is subject to change.” 

The funeral for former U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr. is set for Monday, November 4 at 11 a.m. at Detroit's Greater Grace Temple. Hundreds are expected to be in attendance, and many have also shared kind words about Conyers on social media. How did John Conyers die?

1. He helped fight for equal rights for black people

According to the Detroit Free Press, Conyers persevered for equality and continuously fought for civil rights his whole life. “He marched the Detroit’s ‘63 “Walk to Freedom” led by Rev.Dr. C. L. Franklin, where MLK first pronounced, “I Have A Dream.” He was arrested in Washington, D.C. for demonstrating in the movement to demand Nelson Mandela's release from a South African prison, and later co-hosted Mandela's visit to the United States following his election as president of a free South Africa."

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2. He provided Rosa Parks with a job

According to the Detroit Free Press, Conyers was responsible for giving one of the biggest Civil Rights Movement Leaders a job. Conyers Employed Rosa Parks, giving her a respectable workplace, a good salary with benefits that assured her quality of life and even a front-row seat to the congressman's advocacy of the movement she inspired.

3. He was endorsed by Martin Luther King

Conyers was the only official ever endorsed by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. After Dr. King's assassination, Conyers introduced the MLK Federal Holiday Bill which took 15 years to get passed. President Ronald Reagan was the one to sign for the bill, according to the Detroit Free Press.

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4. Bill Clinton is attending the funeral

According to a source, Bill Clinton will be one of many in attendance at Conyers' funeral. On Monday, he tweeted, "John Conyers was a champion for justice & equality who spent over 50 years in Congress fighting for the people of Detroit & beyond — including by co-sponsoring the Voting Rights Act, taking a role in the creation of Medicare & defending the Constitution on the Judiciary Committee."

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5. He was accused of sexual misconduct

According to FOX News, Conyers was one of the first Capitol Hill politicians to lose his job after sexual misconduct allegations. According to FOX, after a staffer allegedly rejected Conyers’ advances, she was fired. Other witnesses also stated they saw Conyers behaving inappropriately around other female staffers.  Conyers denied the allegations but did step down claiming it was for health reasons.

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6. He retired in 2017

According to BET, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who took over Conyers’ district following his retirement in 2017, tweeted fondly about the representative stating he "never once wavered in fighting for jobs, justice and peace." She continued, "We always knew where he stood on issues of equality and civil rights in the fight for the people. "Thank you Congressman Conyers for fighting for us for over 50 years."

Elizabeth Ward is a writing student finishing her bachelor’s at the University of Louisville. She covers news, entertainment, relationships and everything in between.