From the Beaumont Enterprise:
The counties airport and the Beaumont's federal courthouse are named for Brooks.
Brooks was among the last links to an era when Democrats dominated Texas politics and was the last of "Mr. Sam's Boys," protégés of fellow Texan and legendary 21-year Democratic House Speaker Sam Rayburn in the state's congressional delegation.
"I'm just like old man Rayburn," Brooks, from Beaumont, once said. "Just a Democrat, no prefix or suffix."
He also was a contemporary and supporter of Lyndon Johnson, who was U.S. Senate majority leader in the 1950s and later president.
Brooks was in the Dallas motorcade Nov. 22, 1963, when President Kennedy was assassinated. He's in the famous photo taken later that day aboard Air Force One at Dallas' Love Field, standing immediately behind the grief-stricken Jacqueline Kennedy as Johnson, his right hand raised, takes the oath of office from U.S. District Judge Sarah Hughes.
...A Brooks-authored law required full and open competition to be the standard for awarding federal contracts. The 1965 Brooks Act set policy for the government's computer acquisition program, requiring competitive bidding and central management. His Inspector General Act established independent Offices of Inspector General in major agencies to prevent fraud and waste.
Other Brooks bills reduced federal paperwork, provided a uniform system of federal procurement, eliminated overlapping audit requirements and established the Department of Education.
"He literally has saved American taxpayers billions of dollars through his actions in improving government efficiency and eliminating waste," former Texas Gov. Dolph Briscoe, a longtime friend who died in 2010, said two years earlier when Brooks donated his congressional papers, photos, correspondence and other items to the Center for American History at the University of Texas.
Brooks also served on the House Judiciary Committee, where he strongly supported President Richard Nixon's impeachment and drafted the articles of impeachment the judiciary panel adopted. Nixon, who resigned Aug. 8, 1974, referred to Brooks as "the executioner." Brooks would rise to committee chairman.
...He supported civil rights bills, refused to sign the segregationist "Southern manifesto" in 1956, helped write the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964 that banned racial segregation.
His congressional longevity - figures showed there were 13,858 roll call votes during his tenure - was an issue for him and other long-serving Democrats who were swept from office in 1994. Brooks also had alienated gun owners for supporting a ban on assault weapons and abortion opponents for his support of abortion rights.