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Hundreds Gathered To Remember Stokes

U.S. House of Representatives
Wikimedia/Creative Commons

Cleveland Congressman Louis Stokes was remembered Tuesday as someone who overcame tough economic and racial obstacles to become Ohio’s first black congressman. Hundreds of people gathered at his funeral to celebrate his life.

Stokes rose from a Cleveland housing project and was elected to congress in 1968. During his funeral at Cleveland’s Olivet Institutional Baptist Church, the Rev. Otis Moss Jr. charted some of Stokes’ climb from poverty to become a powerful force in Washington.

“Consider the segregated Army in which he served," Moss said. "Yet there would come a day when the Pentagon and the United States armed forces would have to look to his committee to get their annual budget or appropriation.”

Among the people attending Stokes’ funeral was Vice President Joe Biden. Stokes died last week at the age of 90.