AfriGeneas Schools, Organizations, Churches and Institutions Forum
Congressional Black Caucus/Augustus Hawkins
By The Associated Press – 1 day ago
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Augustus Hawkins, who was California's first black congressman and helped form the Congressional Black Caucus, has died. He was 100.
Hawkins died Saturday at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Md., of symptoms related to old age, his niece, Susan Jefferson, said.
Hawkins, a Democrat, represented South Los Angeles for more than half a century, first starting off in the state Legislature in 1935 and then getting elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1962. Black politicians called Hawkins an inspiration and mentor.
Hawkins sponsored the equal employment section of the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act that created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He helped create the Congressional Black Caucus in 1971.
He retired in 1990 and lived in the Washington, D.C., area. He was director of the Hawkins Family Memorial Foundation of Educational Research and Development, which he founded in 1969 to give college scholarships to young women in his district.
Hawkins' first wife, Pegga Adeline Smith, a concert singer, died in 1966. His second wife, Elsie, whom he married in 1977, died two months ago.