US representative John Lewis has reportedly died at the age of 80.
According to USA today, The Georgia 5th district representative died today, Friday, July 17, after fighting stage IV pancreatic cancer since December 2019.
The Lewis family also made a statement to the media saying, “With inconsolable grief and persistent grief, we are announcing the death of US Representative John Lewis. He was honored as the conscience of the US Congress and an icon of and respects American history, but we knew him as a loving father and brother. He was an unwavering advocate of the ongoing struggle to show respect for the dignity and value of every human being. He devoted his whole life to nonviolent activism and was also an outspoken one Advocate for the struggle for equal justice in America. It will be missed deeply. “
Lewis has been a tireless civil rights activist for over six decades Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his struggle for the right to vote for African Americans when he was in his 20s.
Lewis was also known to chair and confuse the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He led the march, which was stopped in 1965 by police violence on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. This was a milestone in the history of the civil rights movement, which later became known as “Bloody Sunday”.
RELATED: New Doc ‘John Lewis: Good Trouble’ Celebrates the Living Icon and His Passion for Social Justice
Lewis was beaten and arrested in 1961 while participating in the Freedom Rides, which questioned the separation of the southern interstate bus terminals. In 1963 Lewis played a major role in the historic March on Washington.
Lewis, a Democrat, has been in Congress since 1987. In late 2019, he discovered he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer and vowed to fight it.
“Although I am clear about the prognosis, the doctors have told me that recent medical advances have made this type of cancer treatable in many cases, that treatment options are not as debilitating as they used to be, and that I have a chance to fight Lewis said in a statement.
“John Lewis: Good Trouble” debuts in July 2020 and is a documentary about the life of the late Congressman, examining the impact his steadfast work has had on the many people who have worked with him or were cared for by him. The film pays homage to a life dedicated to public service and the same for everyone.
“If you see something that’s not right … say something! Do something!” Lewis is repeatedly shown in speeches and performances as he advises his audience about the regular necessity of “good difficulties, necessary difficulties”.
On July 11, it was incorrectly reported that Lewis had passed away. These rumors were later refuted by his chief of staff, Michael Collinswho told that Atlanta Journal constitution that Lewis “was resting comfortably at home”.
According to his official biography, Lewis holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Fisk University and is a graduate of the American Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville, Tennessee. He has received over 50 honorary degrees, including Harvard University, Brown University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Morehouse College, Clark-Atlanta University, Howard University and many more.
As the recipient of numerous awards from national and international institutions, Lewis received the country’s highest civilian award President Barack Obama, the Medal of Freedom and the Lincoln Medal of the historic Ford’s Theater, the Golden Plate Award of the Academy of Excellence, the Preservation Hero Award of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Martin Luther King Jr.Non-Violent Peace Prize, to name but a few to call.
Now he can rest in peace knowing that his work as an activist, freedom rider, politician, 40 years of arrests, beatings and “good” troublemakers is the perfect example of how many others are brave enough to follow him now.
Survived from his only son, John Miles Lewis. Our thoughts are with John Lewis’ family and friends in this difficult time.
The outpouring of love and memory started when news of Congressman Lewis’s death hit social media. Here are some of the people who lovingly bid farewell to the icon of civil rights and humanitarian aid.