President John F. Kennedy, Congressman Jack Brooks, and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson. [Jack Brooks Congressional Collection, Briscoe Center for American History]

A Tribute to Jack Brooks

Dec 06, 2012

Congressman Jack Brooks, one of the longest serving members of the House of Representatives from Texas, died on Tuesday, December 4, 2012. Brooks, who had been in the Presidential motorcade when John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, was present on Air Force One when Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as President. In this photo, which has become iconic, he stands behind Jacqueline Kennedy.

LBJ is sworn in on Air Force One
[LBJ Library photo #1A-1-WH63 by Cecil Stoughton]

Brooks earned national recognition for his major contributions to civil rights legislation. As a ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, he helped write the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and was one of the few southern congressmen to support civil rights legislation. 

At a press conference in March of 2008, Dr. Don Carleton, executive director of The Center for American History, announced the acquisition of the papers of Congressman Jack Brooks. Larry Temple, President of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation, thanked Congressman Brooks for the contribution of his papers, which chronicle five decades of congressional service.  View photos of the press conference here. A webcast is also available.

Mr. Brooks' obituary appeared in the New York Times on December 5, 2012.

More press coverage

Remembering Jack Brooks, LBJ protégé, Nixon ‘executioner,’ fierce partisan, Texas patriot