November 10, 2007 Augustus Freeman Hawkins, the first African American to represent California in Congress, died.
Hawkins was born August 31, 1907 in Shreveport, Louisiana. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of California in 1931. In 1935, he was elected to the California State Assembly, where he served until 1963.
In 1963, Hawkins was elected to the United States House of Representatives, where he authored legislation to establish the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Job Training Partnership Act, the School Improvement Act, and the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act.
Over his career, Hawkins authored more than 300 state and federal laws. Hawkins was also a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus. He retired from Congress in 1991. The Augustus F. Hawkins Natural Park in Los Angeles is named in his honor.