Many turned to social media when news broke early Wednesday morning that former Congressman Louis Stokes died.
Stokes, 90, was battling cancer.
He made history as Ohio’s first African-American Congressman. Stokes served 15 consecutive terms.
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama released a statement on the passing of former Congressman Louis Stokes:
“Michelle and I were saddened to learn of the passing of former Congressman Louis Stokes. As a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus and the first African-American to represent the state of Ohio in Congress, Lou believed deeply in fairness and the idea that every American should have the same opportunity to succeed. Growing up in Depression-era Cleveland with his mother and brother Carl, Lou triumphed over hardship to become a passionate voice for those less fortunate. He fought to expand access to quality healthcare in struggling communities and worked tirelessly on behalf of hardworking Ohioans. Lou leaves behind an indelible legacy in the countless generations of young leaders that he inspired, and he will be sorely missed. Michelle and I send our condolences to his wife Jay and the family and friends who loved him so dearly.”
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson reflects on the Stokes Era in Cleveland:
“It is not often that someone is able to come along and impact the history of a city and nation as Congressman Louis Stokes did. The City of Cleveland’s success, history, and people were profoundly influenced by his work as a public servant. Cleveland’s progress as a city is directly tied to Congressman Stokes’ leadership and his career acts as a model for many on how to serve with integrity and dignity.
The best way to honor Congressman Stokes is to remember the Stokes Era in Cleveland that he began along with his brother, the honorable Ambassador and Mayor Carl B. Stokes. Theirs is a legacy that is embedded within the past and future of Cleveland. My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Congressman Louis Stokes during this difficult time. Cleveland and the nation has lost a true champion of the people and I have lost a friend.”
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