The Latest: Jackson says no King holiday without Conyers

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Postal Workers Protest

FILE - In an Aug. 24, 2010 file photo, Congressman John Conyers, left, greets the Rev. Jesse Jackson, right, as postal workers rally to save Saturday mail service at the Campus Martius Park, in Detroit. Detroit police say the former congressman died at his home on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. He was 90.(Clarence Tabb, Jr./Detroit News via AP, File)

DETROIT (AP) — The Latest on the death of former Rep. John Conyers of Detroit (all times local):

5:25 p.m.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson says there would be no federal holiday honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. without the work of John Conyers.

Conyers, the longest-serving black member of Congress, died Sunday at his Detroit home, two years after leaving the U.S. House.

Jackson, the Chicago-based civil rights leader, tells The Associated Press that even some of Conyers' allies doubted that he could persuade Congress to create a public holiday for King. Jackson says Conyers' death and the recent death of Rep. Elijah Cummings of Baltimore have been "real painful."

Jackson says "it's like a hole in the sky."

Conyers was in Congress for nearly 53 years.


4:41 p.m.

Former Rep. John Conyers, the longest-serving black member of Congress and founder of the Black Caucus, has died. The Detroit Democrat was 90.

Detroit police say the former congressman died at his home on Sunday. Police spokesman Cpl. Dan Donakowski says Conyers died of what appears to be natural causes.

Conyers' resolutely liberal stance on civil rights and civil liberties made him a political institution. He also fought for 15 years to get the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday designated a national holiday.

A jazz aficionado from an early age, Conyers became one of only six black House members when he narrowly won his first election in 1964.

But his legacy was smeared in 2017 following allegations that he sexually harassed female staffers. He denied the allegations but eventually stepped down, citing health reasons, saying his legacy couldn't be diminished.