Adam Clayton Powell Jr. – 1908-1972
The son of a pastor and a pastor himself, Powell became the first black man to serve on the New York City Council in 1941. He went on in 1945 to become the U.S. representative from Harlem and served 11 terms in Congress as a champion of civil rights legislation. Powell was sued in the early 1960s by a woman who claimed he had wrongly accused her of collecting police graft. He was cited for contempt of court in 1966 for refusing to pay damages, and the following year the House voted to deprive him of his seat. Reelected nevertheless in 1968, he lost his House seniority and, after defeat in the 1970 Democratic primary, retired.