Stokes was the first African-American congressman to represent the state of Ohio
(CLEVELAND, OH, 8/19/15) â€“ The Cleveland Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Cleveland) today offered condolences on the passing of former Congressman Louis Stokes, who died Tuesday evening at age 90.
Lou Stokes: His Political Mastery Rested on Decency and Gentle Wit that Sustained Him Till the End
Louis Stokes was the first African-American congressman to represent the state of Ohio and was a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus. He chaired the House Select Committee on Assassinations that investigated the killings of President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. He was the first African-American to serve on the Appropriations Committee. In the 1980s, Stokes chaired the House Ethics Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that investigated the Iran-Contra affair.
Before becoming a member of Congress, Stokes was an attorney who used his legal skills to fight many civil rights battles from partisan gerrymandering to abuse of police powers. He and his brother, former Mayor of Cleveland Carl Stokes (the first African American mayor of a major city), were strong advocates for the poor and disenfranchised.
In a statement, Julia A. Shearson CAIR-Cleveland Executive Director said:
â€œLouis Stokes was a courageous and tireless champion of justice who advocated for fairness and equal opportunity for all. Through his long career as a courageous attorney, a skilled congressional representative and a civic leader, Louis Stokes set a high standard for public service and self-sacrifice. In life, he was a role model, mentor and inspiration to many. On passing, he has left an indelible legacy that will serve as a role model for generations to come.â€
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR-Cleveland Executive Director Julia Shearson, 216-830-2247,Â firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,Â email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Nabeelah Naeem, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171,Â firstname.lastname@example.org