Jack Brooks, who represented his Southeast Texas district in Congress for 42 years and helped to shape the Civil Rights Act, dies at age 89. Jack Brooks was also in the Dallas motorcade in 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. He died Tuesday night at the Baptist Hospital of Beaumont after a sudden illness, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.
Brooks was among the last links to an era when Democrats dominated Texas politics and was the last of “Mr. Sam’s Boys,” protégés of fellow Texan and legendary 21-year Democratic House Speaker Sam Rayburn in the state’s congressional delegation.
“I’m just like old man Rayburn,” Brooks, from Beaumont, once said. “Just a Democrat, no prefix or suffix.”
He also was a contemporary and supporter of Lyndon Johnson, who was U.S. Senate majority leader in the 1950s and later president.
He supported civil rights bills, refused to sign the segregationist “Southern manifesto” in 1956, helped write the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964 that banned racial segregation. Source