U.S. Rep Louis Stokes dead at age 90.

Copyright, The Associated Press
ILE - In this Saturday, Jan. 17, 1998, file photo, Rep. Louis Stokes, D-Ohio, announces, at the Carl B. Stokes Social Services Mall in Cleveland, that he will retire from Congress at the end of the year. Stokes, a 15-term Ohio congressman who took on tough assignments looking into assassinations and scandals, died late Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015. Stokes was 90. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – A 15-term Cleveland-area congressman who took on tough assignments looking into assassinations and scandals has died. Former U.S. Rep. Louis Stokes was 90.

His death was confirmed by a family statement, and comes a month after he announced he had brain and lung cancer.

Stokes was elected in 1968 and became Ohio’s first black member of Congress and one of its most respected and influential.

He was the dean of the delegation until he stepped down in 1999.

The Democrat headed a House committee that investigated the slayings of President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the late 1970s. Stokes concluded there “probably” had been a conspiracy in both cases.

He also served on the Iran-Contra investigative committee, drawing attention with his unflinching interrogation of Lt. Col. Oliver North.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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