Oscar Stanton De Priest
March 9, 1871 – May 12, 1951
Oscar Stanton De Priest died on May 12, 1951 in Chicago, Illinois at the age of 80. De Priest was the first African American elected to congress that was not from the south and the first elected in the the 20th century. De Priest served the 1st district of Illinois from March 4, 1929 to January 3, 1935. De Priest who was a Republican, may have lost his fourth bid for congress due to his opposition of President Roosevelt’s federal aide programs to provide assistance to the poor. He was defeated by Arthur Mitchell (an African American New Deal Democrat).
The African American members of Congress have changed significantly since the election of Oscar Stanton De Priest in 1929. In the video, President Obama speaks at the Congressional Black Caucus Dinner on September 27, 2014.