- Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site
International Civil Rights: Walk of Fame
John Conyers
John Conyers, Jr.
1929 - present

In 1964, John Conyers won his first bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives representing Michigan. His platform of jobs, justice and peace has carried him to victory in more than twenty other elections. He is one of the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus, and is called the "Dean" of that group. Conyers is the first African American to serve on the House Judiciary Committee and remained the ranking Democrat on that committee after the Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in 1995. Conyers currently serves as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. The U.S. representative has sponsored or co-sponsored several important bills affecting Civil Rights. Those include the Martin Luther King Holiday Act, the Alcohol Warning Label Act, the National Voter Registration Act and the Hate Crime Statistics Act. Conyers made sure that the 1994 Omnibus Crime Bill included important civil rights measures, including the Racial Justice Act and the Police Accountability Act. Along the same lines, Conyers sponsored a Justice Department Study on police brutality and in conjunction with that study, conducted hearings in several cites on the subject of police brutality. Representative Conyers was also the driving force behind the Help America Vote Act of 2002.

Representative Conyers grew up in Detroit, Michigan where he attended Detroit Public Schools. He served in the Michigan National Guard (1948-1950) and the United States Army Reserves (1950-1954). Conyers earned his B.A. degree (1957) and his law degree (1958) from Wayne state University. In addition to having been an attorney in private practice, Conyers was also general counsel for three labor organization locals in Detroit. Conyers served on the staff of Michigan Congressman John Dingell, Jr. from 1958 to 1961.

Representative Conyers is a Lifetime Member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Vice Chair for the National Advisory Council of the American Civil Liberties Union, Vice Chair for the Americans for Democratic Action, and a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.