CINCINNATI (AP) — Friends of former Democratic Ohio congressman and Cincinnati Mayor Thomas Luken spoke of his commitment to civil rights and other causes at a memorial Mass for him on Wednesday.
The Mass was held at St. Xavier Church in downtown Cincinnati for Luken, who died last week at age 92.
Luken mentored many young politicians, including former Cincinnati mayor and current TV talk show host Jerry Springer and current Mayor John Cranley.
WLWT-TV reported Springer and civil rights attorney Al Gerhardstein were among those who praised Luken on Wednesday for his commitment to fight for basic human rights and for his ideals.
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“There’s no better inspiration than someone who is fighting for his ideals,” Gerhardstein said.
Luken marched for civil rights in Selma, Alabama, and advocated for a public bus system. He was an opponent of capital punishment.
“Years after he was no longer in office,” Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper said, “I know he’d go to Columbus for rallies against the death penalty.”
Luken’s time as a U.S. House member for 15 years in the 1970s and 80s was bookended by stints on the city council. He also served as a federal prosecutor.
Luken’s son, Charlie Luken, also was a former Cincinnati mayor and congressman.
Information from: WLWT-TV, http://www.wlwt.com