WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Former U.S. Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson, a Democrat who retired from the House of Representatives after 30 years in office, died at 88, her family said on social media on Sunday.
Johnson, who represented a district in Texas that includes downtown Dallas, was the first person of color to serve as Chair of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology and was the oldest member of the House when she left office in January 2023.
“She was a remarkable and loving mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and great grandmother, as well as a trailblazer and public servant,” her son, Kirk Johnson, wrote on Facebook.
President Joe Biden said Johnson had “unwavering” dedication to the people of North Texas, adding that he was grateful for their “friendship and partnership” from working together throughout her 30 years in Congress.
House of Representatives Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries in a statement said that in 1992 Johnson became the first registered nurse elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and the first African American to serve in Congress from North Texas.
“Congresswoman Johnson was a trailblazing icon, transformational public servant and legendary member of the Congressional Black Caucus,” Jeffries said.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said in a statement that as representative, Eddie Bernice Johnson authored and co-authored more than 177 bills that became law as she fought for her communities and residents.
“She was the single most effective legislator Dallas has ever had,” the mayor wrote in the statement posted on social media platform X, previously known as Twitter.
(Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)