Alcee Hastings was Florida’s first Black federal judge and fought a legendary battle for civil rights. In 1992, Hastings became Florida’s first Black congressman since the Civil War ended and served 15 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.

After a battle with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, the Democratic congressman died on Tuesday, April 6. He was 84.

“I am deeply saddened by the untimely passing of my friend and colleague, Rep. Hastings of Florida,” Texas Democratic Congressman Al Green wrote in an email to the Black Press and posted to Twitter.

“My prayers are with the Hastings family as well as Alcee’s staff, friends, and loved ones at this difficult time and in the days to come,” Congressman Green continued.

“You fought the good fight, dear brother.”

Bobby Henry, a longtime friend of Congressman Hastings and the 50-year-old Westside Gazette newspaper publisher in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, said he would miss the representative.

“Congressman Hastings has always been more than a person who held an office,” Henry stated.

“He epitomized what it meant to go through hell and come back again unscathed and to be better from it. His forte was how he made a common person feel extraordinary in the company of those who are considered to be the elite.”

Henry continued: “No matter where it was, as if we were the number one paper in the country, and he opened the door for us to be in the company of President Barack Obama and to receive an autographed copy of the President’s speech to the nation.

“He did so well to pass on to you what you are supposed to do for others, which is to make them feel great. He did that well.”

Congressman Hastings tirelessly advocated for minorities, women, and immigrants.

He served as vice-chair of the House Rules Committee in the 117th Congress.

Just one week ago, Hastings pushed President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan.

“The American Jobs Plan put forth by the Biden-Harris administration creates a robust avenue for progress and opportunity for all Americans,” Congressman Hastings noted.

“The plan will make a significant investment in broadband, while also investing in long-neglected areas of our infrastructure such as clean water to schools, housing, and childcare facilities to seniors’ and long-term care and veterans’ facilities.

“This plan will also create millions of good-paying, union jobs for the American people and provide support for our essential caregiving employees,” he stated.

In an interview with the Black Press ahead of last November’s elections, Hastings lashed out at former President Donald Trump’s claims that he’d done more for African Americans than anyone else. He also took issue with Republicans for trying to suppress voters.

“[Trump] said he’d done more for African Americans than anybody,” Hastings said, shaking his head. “I guess Sojourner Truth, Fanny Lou Hamer, Martin Luther King, and others must be turning over in their graves because they gave their lives so that we can have the precious rights that we have. Not it comes about that our voting rights are under attack. Sensible Americans, those who are really patriotic, make sure that everyone has the right to vote.”



Waters Statement on Passing of Congressman Alcee Hastings

LAWT News Service


This week, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, issued the following statement following the death of Congressman Alcee Hastings of Florida.

“I am saddened by the passing of my longtime friend and colleague, Congressman Alcee Hastings, who was a vibrant Member of Congress that was dedicated to public service and doing good on behalf of his constituents. Congressman Hastings was not only a talented legislator, but a brilliant lawyer who lived a distinguished life of service.

When I think of Congressman Hastings, I think of someone who absolutely loved coming to work every day for his community, and I take solace in the fact that they so deeply loved him back. 


“First elected to Congress in 1992, Congressman Hastings’ work in the Congress is extensive and he took great pride in that. Rising to the role of Dean and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation, he sought out any opportunity that would allow him to better serve not only his constituents, but all Floridians. As Vice Chair of the Committee on Rules, he was extremely well versed on the Committee’s issues and he will undoubtedly be remembered as a strong Democrat who gave tremendous support to other Democrats who came before the Committee.

“Congressman Hastings was the kind of person who came to work and got the job done, and – not to mention, he did it in style, too. Over the years, I noticed that he would match his ties and socks, and when I would see him, I would always comment on his outfit and his skill for coordinating colors. In the midst of it all, we always found the time to share in laughter and joy and I will miss that dearly.

“To the Congressman’s family, friends, and beloved community, I extend my deepest and most heartfelt condolences. During this difficult time, let us find peace in the extraordinary life he lived and the incredible amount of good he did.”




LAWT News Service


U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn issued the following statement on the passing of U.S. Congressman Alcee Hastings:

“Today Florida lost a committed public servant and the nation lost a passionate patriot. We in the Congressional Black Caucus have lost a giant and I have lost a dear friend of more than 60 years.

“Alcee Hastings was a trailblazer throughout his career serving as Florida’s first Black federal judge and one of the first African Americans elected to Congress from Florida since the post-Civil War period.

“For nearly three decades, he represented his constituents with dignity, grace and an unwavering commitment to the fight for justice.

“I knew on the day we met as college students that he would make an indelible impact and I was right. It has been a privilege to know him as a trusted colleague, confidante and an invaluable member of our Whip organization.

“My sincerest thoughts and prayers are with his family, constituents and staff.”


Congressional Black Caucus Mourns the Passing of Congressman Alcee Hastings

LAWT News Service 


The Congressional Black Caucus is heartbroken and mourns the loss of our colleague and brother Congressman Alcee Hastings of Florida, a fearless fighter for his District and the people he loved and served as a lawyer, federal judge, and senior Member of the Florida Congressional Delegation. Alcee was a pioneer and leading voice in the fight for civil and voting rights.

First elected in 1992, Alcee Hastings was a longtime Member of the powerful House Committee on Rules and a strong voice within the CBC where he sat in “his seat” rarely missing meetings.

Congressman Hastings never forgot where he came from and continued to fight up until his last breath.

Diagnosed with Stage Four Pancreatic Cancer in 2018, Alcee brought his same indomitable fighting spirit to his battle against that devastating illness. 

Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Joyce Beatty said on behalf of the CBC, “While we mourn the loss of our brother, his life and legacy will continue to be a part of our power and our message and will serve as a motivation for those who will follow in his footsteps - as leaders, fighters and advocates who represent the best of what our nation has to offer.

Although there are no words to ease the sadness we are now feeling, there is solace in the remembrance of having been touched by such a giant.  

May his memory serve as a comfort to his loved ones and those who join us in mourning his passing. Rest well our dear brother...we’ll take it from here.”

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