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Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - 8:17pm
Rep. Jack Brooks (D-Texas), a 21-term veteran of the U.S. House, died in his home state Tuesday night at age 89.
Authorities say he died at a hospital in Beaumont after a sudden illness.
Brooks was first elected to Congress at age 29, after receiving a law degree from the University of Texas and serving two terms in the Texas State Legislature.
He also served in the Marine Corps during World War II and retired as a colonel from the Marine Corps Reserves.
He was in the Dallas motorcade in 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
He also is in the background, right behind Jackie Kennedy, in the iconic photo above showing President Johnson take the oath of office aboard Air Force One later that day.
Brooks, a Democrat, was pro-gun rights, pro-labor, a fierce partisan and was known to stubbornly puff on cigars in non-smoking areas.