October 26, 1919

Senator Edward Brooke Born

Greater Boston

On this day in 1919, Edward Brooke, III, the first African American to represent Massachusetts in the U.S. Congress, was born. A decorated veteran, he graduated from the BU School of Law in 1948 and began practicing in Roxbury. In 1966, after serving as the nation's first African American state Attorney General, Brooke achieved another first: He became the first black person ever elected to the U. S. Senate by popular vote. In his two terms in Congress, he worked for civil rights, fair housing, consumer protection, and arms limitation. When the Watergate scandal broke, he was the first senator to call on President Richard Nixon to resign. In 2000 the state recognized his accomplishments by naming a new Boston courthouse in his honor.

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