“I am deeply saddened about the loss of my dearest and longtime friend and colleague, Louis Stokes, who left a lasting legacy of improving the lives of people in his congressional district in Ohio and throughout our country.
I was honored to serve with Lou in Congress, where we worked closely together as founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus which has proudly become a powerful voice in the fight for justice and equality in America.
Humbly raised during the Great Depression in Cleveland, he worked hard to achieve success and dedicate himself to public service. As a U.S. Army veteran who served in World War II, Lou was a life-long patriot. He brought that same spirit with him to Washington, where he served as a courageous leader in the House for over 30 years. Lou made history as the first African American to serve on the House Appropriations Committee as well as the House Intelligence Committee. He was a champion for expanded access to quality healthcare for all Americans, and founded the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust, which continues to advocate for reducing health disparities in communities across the country.
I am fortunate to have had such a great man as my great friend and colleague — Lou was a role model not only for me, but also for all those who followed in his footsteps. Louis Stokes will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this difficult time.”
Congressman Charles B. Rangel, who represents the 13th Congressional District that includes Upper Manhattan and parts of the Bronx, released the following statement on the passing of former Congressman Louis Stokes, the first African American to represent Ohio in the U.S. House of Representatives.