John Conyers dies at age 90

By: - October 27, 2019 3:56 pm

U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) attends a hearing about the current mortgage crisis by the Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee on Capitol Hill January 29, 2008 in Washington, DC. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The former dean of Congress, U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Detroit), died on Sunday at age 90.

The news was first reported by WXYZ-TV in Detroit. Conyers served 53 years in the U.S. House and was a champion of civil rights. He had the distinction of serving on two impeachment committees for Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.

Conyers was a Korean War veteran first elected in 1964. He resigned in December 2017 after a sexual harassment scandal. Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones won the remainder of his term in a special election last year. U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) now represents the 13th District.

A founder of the Congressional Black Caucus and longtime chair of the powerful U.S. House Judiciary Committee, Conyers was known for introducing legislation to honor Martin Luther King Jr. with a federal holiday. He also championed single-payer health care.

Civil rights icon Rosa Parks was a longtime member of his staff.

“Congressman John Conyers was a lifelong Detroiter who was deeply committed to the city and to those he represented,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. His impact on our state, whether by spearheading reforms in criminal justice and voting rights in Congress or through his lifetime of civil rights activism, will not be forgotten. I extend my deepest condolences to Congressman Conyers’ family for their loss.”

Several political and civil rights leaders remembered Conyers on Sunday, including NAACP President Derrick Johnson:

U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.):

State Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown Twp.):

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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 22-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive.