The non-violent civil rights warrior who marched with Martin Luther King Jr and nearly died from police beatings before serving for decades as a US congressman, died of cancer. FILE PHOTO: Rep. John Lewis testifies to the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, US, January 11, 2017. (Reuters Archive) US Representative John Lewis, a pioneer of the civil rights movement and long-time member of the US House of Representatives, has died at the age of 80.
Lewis had announced in December that he had advanced pancreatic cancer.
“John Lewis was a titan of the civil rights movement whose goodness, faith and bravery transformed our nation – from the determination with which he met discrimination at lunch counters and on Freedom Rides, to the courage he showed as a young man facing down violence and death on Edmund Pettus Bridge, to the moral leadership he brought to the Congress for more than 30 years,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement on Saturday.
“In the Congress, John Lewis was revered and beloved on both sides of the aisle and both sides of the Capitol. All of us were humbled to call Congressman Lewis a colleague, and are heartbroken by his passing.”
Lewis kept up the fight for civil rights until the end of his life. He made his last public appearance in June, as protests for racial justice swept the United States and the world.
Using a cane, he walked with Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser on a street by the White House that Bowser had just renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza, which had just been dedicated with a large yellow mural – large enough to be seen from space – reading “Black Lives Matter.”
READ MORE: Will Black lives matter now?
Tributes pour in
“John Lewis was an icon who fought with every ounce of his being to advance the cause of civil rights for all Americans,” said Senator Kamala Harris, the first African American to represent California in the Senate, on Twitter. “I'm devastated for his family, friends, staff – and all those whose lives he touched.
John Lewis was an icon who fought with every ounce of his being to advance the cause of civil rights for all Americans. I'm devastated for his family, friends, staff—and all those whose lives he touched.
My friend, thank you for showing the world what #GoodTrouble looks like. pic.twitter.com/cvG8nSJCW5
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) July 18, 2020 'True American'
US Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote on Twitter, “John Lewis was a true American hero and the moral compass of our nation. May his courage and conviction live on in all of us as we continue to make good trouble for justice and opportunity.”
John Lewis was a true American hero and the moral compass of our nation. May his courage and conviction live on in all of us as we continue to make good trouble for justice and opportunity.
Rest in power, John.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) July 18, 2020 “Our conscience, he was a griot of this modern age, one who saw its hatred but fought ever towards the light,” said Stacey Abrams, a Democratic activist and founder of Fair Fight, a voting rights group in Lewis’ home state of Georgia. “And never once did he begrudge sharing its beauty. I loved him & will miss him.”
Source: TRTWorld and agencies
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