HOUSTON -

Former Houston city councilman Ernest McGowen Sr. died, family members said Monday.

McGowen was one of the city's first African-American elected officials. He served as the District B councilman from 1980 to 1993.

He supported appointing more minorities to high-ranking positions in the Houston Police Department.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker released a statement on McGowen's service.

"Ernest McGowen, Sr. was the first African-American district council member, elected to represent District B immediately after single-member districts were created in Houston. He served his constituents with passion and commitment, but he also led on issues such as how the city responded to apartheid in South Africa and promoted disinvestment. He left a legacy through his family as well – his wife and sons have carried on the importance of service in the community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."