"Stokes was elected to the House in 1968, becoming Ohio's first black member of Congress and one of its most respected and influential."

"Louis Stokes was the dean of the delegation until he stepped down in 1999.

Stokes headed the House's Select Committee on Assassinations that investigated the slayings of President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the late 1970s and concluded that in both cases, there "probably" had been a conspiracy.
Later, he served on the Iran-Contra investigative committee, where he drew attention with his unflinching interrogation of Lt. Col. Oliver North.

"What we seek to do in covert operations is to mask the role of the United States from other countries, not from our own government," Stokes told North at a highly publicized hearing in 1987.

He was just as unflinching with his probe of fellow Democrats when he led the ethics committee investigation of a corruption scandal known as ABSCAM, which led to convictions of one senator and six House members. The senator and five of the House members were Democrats."