Brooks, Jack, 1922-2012

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Jack Bascom Brooks (b. December 18, 1922, Crowley, La.–d. December 4, 2012, Beaumont, Tex.) was a Democratic lawmaker from Beaumont, Texas, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for forty-two years. When defeated in 1994, Brooks was the most senior Representative ever to have lost a general election for the U.S. House of Representatives.

From the description of Brooks, Jack Bascom, 1922-2012 (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration). naId: 10572241

Long-time congressman representing southeast Texas for forty-two years.

From the description of Papers, 1953-1995 [manuscript]. (Lamar University). WorldCat record id: 226073012

Jack B. Brooks of Beaumont, Texas represented the 2nd Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives from 1953 through 1966 and the 9th Congressional District from 1967 through 1995. Born in Crowley, Louisiana, on December 18, 1922, he moved to Beaumont at the age of 5. He attended public schools and received a scholarship to Lamar Junior College. He transferred to The University of Texas and earned a BA in journalism (1943). During World War II, Brooks enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, serving for approximately two years in the Pacific Theatre on Guadalcanal, Guam, Okinawa, and in North China. He continued his military service in the Marine Corps Reserves until retirement as a colonel in 1972.

In 1946, at the age of 24, Brooks, a lifelong Democrat, began his commitment to public service when voters elected him to represent Jefferson County in the Texas Legislature. He won reelection in 1948 without opposition. While a member of the legislature, he earned a law degree from the University in 1949.

Brooks made his initial run for Congress in 1952. Following his election he served for the next five decades in Congress. As a member of the influential Texas Congressional delegation, Brooks became a close friend of powerful House Speaker Sam Rayburn during the 1950’s. During his tenure in the Congress, Brooks held many leadership roles on congressional committees and subcommittees. His notable positions included the chairmanship of the House Committee on Government Operations from 1975 through 1988 and the chairmanship of the House Committee on the Judiciary between 1989 and 1995. Brooks became the senior member of the Texas Congressional delegation in 1979, a position he held until he left office in 1995.

In the 1960s, as a ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, Jack Brooks helped write the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. During the national turmoil surrounding the Watergate scandal in 1974, he played a major role during the impeachment proceedings against President Richard M. Nixon, who resigned as president as a result of revelations from his involvement in the scandal. As the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Brooks also sponsored significant pieces of legislation, including the Single Audit Act of 1984, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Omnibus Crime Control Act of 1991, and the Civil Rights Act of 1991.

On November 22, 1963, Brooks rode in the motorcade carrying President John F. Kennedy and many members of the Texas Congressional delegation through downtown Dallas. Following President Kennedy’s assassination, Brooks stood by during the swearing in of President Lyndon Johnson on Air Force One at Dallas' Love Field.

As the leader of the Government Operations Committee, Congressman Brooks oversaw legislation affecting budget and accounting matters and the establishment of departments and agencies. In this role, he also helped pass the Inspector General Act of 1978, the General Accounting Office Act of 1980, and the Paper Reduction Act of 1980.

Brooks sponsored the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. The bill, which carried the federal assault weapons ban, has been credited with contributing to the drop in crimes committed in the United States during the 1990s. During his nearly half a century of service to the people of his district, Brooks secured support for many local and regional projects. These included funding for the Rayburn Dam and Reservoir and for making extensive improvements to deep water shipping channels along the Texas coast. He also helped pass legislation to provide flood insurance to individuals and businesses suffering losses due to hurricanes and other natural disasters.

Jack Brooks married Charlotte Collins in 1960. The couple’s three children are Jeb Brooks, Kate Brooks Carroll, and Kim Brooks and their grandchildren are Matthew Carroll and Brooke Carroll. Jack Brooks continues to live in Beaumont, Texas, and is actively involved in the Democratic Party.

From the guide to the Brooks (Jack B. ) Papers 2007-255; 2009-139; 2011-114., 1945-2002, (Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin)

Jack Brooks of Beaumont, Texas represented the 2nd Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives from 1953 through 1966 and the 9th Congressional District from 1967 through 1995.

Brooks made his initial run for Congress in 1952. Following his election he served for the next five decades in Congress. During his tenure in the Congress, Brooks held many leadership roles on congressional committees and subcommittees. His notable positions included the chairmanship of the House Committee on Government Operations from 1975 through 1988 and the chairmanship of the House Committee on the Judiciary between 1989 and 1995. In the 1960s, as a ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, Jack Brooks helped write the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. During the national turmoil surrounding the Watergate scandal in 1974, he played a major role during the impeachment proceedings against President Richard M. Nixon, who resigned as president as a result of revelations from his involvement in the scandal. On November 22, 1963, Brooks rode in the motorcade carrying President John F. Kennedy and many members of the Texas Congressional delegation through downtown Dallas.

From the description of Brooks, Jack, papers, 1945-2002, 1952-1994. (University of Texas Libraries). WorldCat record id: 456717076

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Recordings and Transcripts of Telephone Conversations and Meetings. 11/22/1963 - 1/3/1969. John F. Kennedy Assassination Related Recordings and Transcripts. 11/22/1963 - 3/28/1967. LBJ Recording of Telephone Conversation, K Series, Jack Brooks, 6:30P
creatorOf Skinner, Henry T. (Henry Thomas), 1907-1984. Papers of Henry T. Skinner [manuscript], 1932-1984. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn William Howard Taft IV Papers, 1958-1989, (bulk 1970-1989) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Brooks, Jack, 1922-. Papers, 1953-1995 [manuscript]. Lamar University, Mary & John Gray Library
referencedIn Vance, James E., 1918-1987. James E. "Monk" Vance photographic collection, 1949-1985. University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Judge Woodrow Seals Papers MSS 0414., 1941-1990, 1961-1990 Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library,
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Staff Secretary. 1976 - 1981. Presidential Files. 1977 - 1981. 1/31/79
creatorOf Lyndon Baines Johnson Archives Collection. 1931 - 1968. Congressional Correspondence Files Lyndon Baines Johnson Library
creatorOf Brooks (Jack B. ) Papers 2007-255; 2009-139; 2011-114., 1945-2002 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin .
creatorOf Brooks, Jack, 1922-. Jack Brooks : commercials , 1982. University of Oklahoma, Political Community Archives
creatorOf Recordings and Transcripts of Telephone Conversations and Meetings. 11/22/1963 - 1/3/1969. John F. Kennedy Assassination Related Recordings and Transcripts. 11/22/1963 - 3/28/1967. LBJ Recording of Telephone Conversation, K Series, Jack Brooks, 4:53P
referencedIn Taft, William Howard, 1945-. William Howard Taft papers, 1958-1989 (bulk 1970-1989). Library of Congress
referencedIn Brooks, Jack. Brooks, Jack, papers, 1945-2002, 1952-1994. University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Judge Woodrow Seals Papers MSS 0414., 1941-1990, 1961-1990 Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library,
creatorOf Recordings and Transcripts of Telephone Conversations and Meetings. 11/22/1963 - 1/3/1969. John F. Kennedy Assassination Related Recordings and Transcripts. 11/22/1963 - 3/28/1967. LBJ Recording of Telephone Conversation, K Series, Jack Brooks, 4:55P
creatorOf Recordings and Transcripts of Telephone Conversations and Meetings. 11/22/1963 - 1/3/1969. White House Telephone Recordings and Transcripts. 11/22/1963 - 1/3/1969. LBJ Recording of Telephone Conversation, WH Series, Jack Brooks, 9:49P
referencedIn President's Daily Diary. 11/22/1963 - 1/20/1969. President's Daily Diary. 11/22/1963 - 1/20/1969. President's Daily Diary Entry Entry, November 24, 1963
creatorOf Brooks, Jack. Reminiscences of Jack Brooks : oral history, 1960. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Brooks, Jack. Brooks, Jack, papers, 1945-2002, 1952-1994. University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Taft, William Howard, 1945-. Papers, 1958-1989 (bulk 1970-1989) Library of Congress
creatorOf Recordings and Transcripts of Telephone Conversations and Meetings. 11/22/1963 - 1/3/1969. White House Telephone Recordings and Transcripts. 11/22/1963 - 1/3/1969. LBJ Recording of Telephone Conversation, WH Series, Jack Brooks, 7:30P
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Brooks, Jack, 1922- person
associatedWith Jensen, Sandy, person
associatedWith Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973 person
associatedWith Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963 person
associatedWith Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963. person
associatedWith Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994 person
associatedWith Rayburn, Sam, 1882-1961 person
associatedWith Seals, Woodrow Bradley person
associatedWith Seals, Woodrow Bradley person
associatedWith Skinner, Henry T. (Henry Thomas), 1907-1984. person
correspondedWith Taft, William Howard, 1915 August 7- person
correspondedWith Taft, William Howard, 1945- person
associatedWith United States. Congress. House corporateBody
associatedWith University of Oklahoma. Political Commercial Archive. corporateBody
associatedWith Vance, James E., 1918-1987. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States. Congress. House. Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments. Government Operations Subcommittee.
Jefferson County (Tex.)
United States. Congress. House. Committee on the Judiciary
United States
United States. Congress. House. Committee on the Judiciary.
United States. Congress. House. Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments. Government Operations Subcommittee
Alaska
Jefferson County (Tex.)
Subject
Television advertising
Advertising, political
Frontier and pioneer life
Watergate Affair, 1972-1974
Legislators--Archives
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1922-12-22

Death 2012-12-04

English

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