Jack Brooks, the former Beaumont-area congressman, passed away yesterday at the age of 89. The New York Times presented quite an obituary for the late politician. First being elected to the Texas House in 1948, he served for two terms before being elected to the US House of Representatives in 1952. He served for forty-two years, twenty-one terms in all, before being defeated for re-election in the 1994 sweep by Steve Stockman, the former one-term Congressman who was just sent back this year.
Brooks was one of the most liberal members of a southern delegation, a big protege of other Texas liberals like Sam Rayburn, Lyndon Johnson, and Ralph Yarborough. A big supporter of the Civil Rights Act and Great Society/New Frontier legislation, he was also present in the motorcade when President Kennedy was assassinated.
Brooks was given universal praise today after word of his death came out, from both sides of the political aisle. He was one of the good ones and he will be missed.