(CNN) — Former Texas congressman Jack Brooks, who served in the House for more than four decades, has died.
Authorities say he died Tuesday night at a hospital in Beaumont after a sudden illness.
He died peacefully, surrounded by family, just shy of his 90-th birthday.
He was in the Dallas motorcade in 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and is in the background -- right behind Jackie Kennedy-- in the iconic photo showing President Johnson take the oath of office aboard Air Force One later that day.
Brooks, a Democrat, was pro-gun rights, pro-labor, a fierce partisan and was known to stubbornly puff on cigars in non-smoking areas.