Born in Waterbury, Franks was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Connecticut, as stated by the Hartford Courant. He was the first black Republican to be elected to the House since Oscar Stanton De Priest won his last term on the South Side of Chicago in 1932. Franks served in the House for three terms, from 1991 to 1997. He is the only black American to represent Connecticut in the U.S. Congress.
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