- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

CLEVELAND (AP) - President Barack Obama and Ohio political figures from both parties are paying tribute Wednesday to 15-term U.S. Rep. Louis Stokes, who died at home Tuesday of cancer at age 90. Stokes was the first black to be elected to Congress from Ohio.

“Lou believed deeply in fairness and the idea that every American should have the same opportunity to succeed. Growing up in Depression-era Cleveland with his mother and brother Carl, Lou triumphed over hardship to become a passionate voice for those less fortunate.” — President Barack Obama


“For more than 30 years, Congressman Stokes tirelessly fought for the people of Ohio. He was our leader in good times and bad. The first African American elected to Congress from Ohio, Congressman Stokes was the epitome of a public servant.” — U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge, an Ohio Democrat


“I’m saddened by the loss of my friend Lou Stokes. He was a giant, who led by his conviction as much as he did by his personal grace. I am proud to have served in Congress with him. Cleveland, Ohio and America are stronger for his service and I hope reflecting on that can inspire future leaders at a time when we need to come together more as a country.” — Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich


“Congressman Lou Stokes loved life and loved his family. He loved Cleveland, and he loved the political process. He was a giant of a man who embodied a quiet dignity that still inspires me today to do more for those who don’t have a voice.”— U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, an Ohio Democrat


“The city of Cleveland and our nation lost an icon this week. Lou Stokes dedicated his life to lifting up others and expanding opportunities for those most in need. He was effective because he knew how to bring people together to solve problems and, as a result, he had a meaningful impact on countless lives in his beloved hometown of Cleveland and around the country.” — Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman


“Congressman Stokes was a true gentleman and statesman who challenged the status quo in order to uplift those that he proudly served. He will be remembered as a humble and dedicated public servant who inspired many of us in service to this day.”— Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper


“Ohio has lost one of its most dedicated public servants with the death of former Congressman Louis Stokes. I had the pleasure of working with Lou when I served in Congress. Lou Stokes never forgot where he came from and the people he represented in Washington.”— Republican Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine

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