Huel Perkins on John Dingell's impact

Image 1 of 5

Huel Perkins ended Let It Rip's tribute to John Dingell with a personal thank you.

Dingell died Thursday at 92 after losing his battle with cancer. While his impact lasted through the span of 11 presidents, Huel said Dingell told him his greatest accomplishment was the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It ended segregation in public places and banned discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

Huel ended Let It Rip with this thought: 

"I had the chance to tell John Dingell thank you. And he said to me that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was his greatest victory. And I told him thank you because that victory helped children like me. 

"I am not his son by blood, but I am his son by the policy he helped create. Because when I was a child I remember the separate drinking fountains, I remember having to go to a department store not being allowed to try on clothes, having to sit in the balcony to see a movie. Waiting in a closet to see a doctor. 

"But because John Dingell - and others like him - fought for children he didn't even know, children like me, the nation changed and gave me an opportunity to sit here tonight - to say thank you, to him. 

"Thank you to Debbie, we know that you were by his side for the last 40 years and by his side as he left this earth. We thank John Dingell and we thank the entire Dingell family."

More John Dingell:

A life of public service: John Dingell dies at 92

Reaction pours in for late 'Dean of the House' John Dingell

John Dingell had a Twitter style all his own