Longtime Texas Congressman Dies

BEAUMONT (December 5, 2012)--Former U.S. Rep. Jack Brooks, a Democrat who spent 42 years representing his Southeast Texas district in the U.S. House, has died at the age of 89.

Brooks died Tuesday night at Baptist Hospital of Beaumont after a sudden illness, a Jefferson County Sheriff's Department statement said.

Deputy Rod Carroll says Brooks, who would have turned 90 on Dec. 18, was surrounded by family members when he died.

Brooks was among the last links to an era when Democrats dominated Texas and national politics.

He took office when legendary fellow Texan Sam Rayburn was House speaker and Lyndon Johnson was Senate majority leader.

Brooks was in the Dallas motorcade Nov. 22, 1963, when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated and was aboard Air Force One later that day when Johnson took the oath of office.

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