Congressman Stokes Dies at 90

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Former Congressman Louis Stokes has died at the age of 90.

During July we had heard the news that he had been diagnosed with brain and lung cancer.

Stokes served 15 terms representing Cleveland and several eastern suburbs in the US Congress beginning in 1968, but his influence and leadership was felt far beyond those halls.

A statement from the family has confirmed that Stokes died late Tuesday. It reads in part:

"During his illness, he confronted it as he did life - with bravery and strength. He was always guided by faith, while embracing the prayers and well wishes of family, friends and constituents. We are grateful for the cards, prayers and words of comfort during this difficult time. He loved Cleveland and was honored to have the opportunity to represent its citizens in the United States Congress."

Stokes graduated from Cleveland Central High School and later earned his law degree from Cleveland Marshall School of Law in 1953, after serving three years in the military in World War II. He argued three cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including a racial gerrymandering case that led in 1968 to the creation of Ohio's first mostly minority congressional district that he would later represent.

Lou Stokes had most recently served on Governor John Kasich's committee of  officials, police officers, religious leaders and community members - as part of  a task force charged with recommending ways to improve relations between police and communities.

The family statement also said his wife Jay was at his side when he passed away.

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