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Elijah Cummings Memorial

Source: Tom Williams / Getty

Legendary civil rights leader Congressman John Lewis passed away on Friday at 80 years old. Lewis revealed in December 2019 that he’d been battling stage IV pancreatic cancer.

In a statement, Lewis’ family remembered his service to the country and dedication to his family.
 
“It’s with inconsolable grief and enduring sadness that we announce the passing of U.S. Rep. John Lewis,” his family said. “He was honored and respected as the conscience of the U.S. Congress and an icon of American history, but we knew him as a loving father and brother. He was a stalwart champion in the on-going struggle to demand respect for the dignity and worth of every human being. He dedicated his entire life to non-violent activism and was an outspoken advocate in the struggle for equal justice in America. He will be deeply missed.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings Lies In State At U.S. Capitol

Source: Pool / Getty

John Lewis, The Civil Rights Leader  & Congressman

Born to sharecroppers in Alabama, Lewis would become a prominent figure in the civil rights movement. In 1955, Lewis first heard Martin Luther King, Jr. speak on the radio, and a year later, when the Montgomery Bus Boycott began, he closely followed the news about it. Lewis would then meet the civil rights leader as a teen, after writing a letter to Dr. King about being denied admission to college for what he thought to be due to his skin color.
Years later, in 1961, Lewis became one of the 13 original Freedom Riders, made up of white and Black people, who were determined to ride from Washington, DC to New Orleans in an integrated fashion. At that time, several states of the old Confederacy still enforced laws prohibiting Black and white riders from sitting next to each other on public transportation. Lewis would lead and participate in numerous protests and face multiple arrests during his fight for justice. But that wouldn’t stop him.
John Lewis Mug Shot

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Lewis would continue the good fight, serving as the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district from 1987 until he died in 2020.

President Barack Obama’s Statement on Rep. John Lewis Passing

“He loved this country so much that he risked his life and his blood so that it might live up to its promise,” Obama said. “And through the decades, he not only gave all of himself to the cause of freedom and justice, but inspired generations that followed to try to live up to his example.”
USA - Politics - President Obama Awards Medal of Freedom

Source: Brooks Kraft / Getty

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s statement on Rep. John Lewis’ passing

“Today, America mourns the loss of one of the greatest heroes of American history: Congressman John Lewis, the Conscience of the Congress,” Pelosi said.
 
Voting Rights

Source: Tom Williams / Getty

John Lewis’ Impact Internationally

Rep. Lewis’ service would not only impact people fighting for equality and justice in the U.S. but also reach across the seas, impacting so many others.
 
“John Lewis’ impact extended far beyond America’s shores,” Embassy of Ireland USA recalled in a tweet. “His example inspired civil rights activists in Northern Ireland where, six years ago, he joined another remarkable John crossing the Peace Bridge in Derry. His legacy on our island is a great one. He will be sorely missed.”

Messages Pour In for John Lewis

As news of the Georgia Democrat’s passing rang in, people began to pour out their love.

 

Rest in power, Congressman John Lewis. And, thank you for your service for to people.

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