- Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site
International Civil Rights: Walk of Fame
Congressman Louis Stokes
Congressman Louis Stokes
1925 - present

On November 6, 1968, Louis Stokes was elected to Congress on his first bid for public office. By virtue of his election, he became the first African American Member of Congress from the State of Ohio. First sworn in at the 91st Congress, Representative Stokes served fifteen consecutive terms in the United States House of Representatives. When he retired in 1999, he became the first African American in the history of the U.S. Congress to retire having completed 30 consecutive years in office.

He is currently Senior Counsel at Squire, Sanders and Dempsey L.L.P., a law firm based in Washington, D.C. He is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Case-Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.

During the 94th Congress Representative Stokes was appointed by Speaker Carl Albert to serve on the House Select Committee on Assassinations. The Committee had a mandate to conduct an investigation and study of the circumstances surrounding the deaths of President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1977, Speaker Thomas P. O’Neill appointed Congressman Stokes as Chairman of this committee. In 1978, Congressman Stokes completed these historic investigations and filed with the House of Representatives 27 volumes of hearings, a Final Report and Recommendations for Administrative and Legislative Reform.