Civil Rights icon Representative John Roberts Lewis died Friday July 17.
He was the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district, and was serving in his 17th term in the House until his death, having served since 1987, and was the dean of the Georgia congressional delegation. The district he served includes the northern three-fourths of Atlanta. He was a member of the Democratic Party.
Lewis, who as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was one of the “Big Six” leaders of groups who organized the 1963 March on Washington, played many key roles in the Civil Rights Movement and its actions to end legalized racial segregation in the United States. He was a member of the Democratic Party leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives and had served from 1991 until death as a Chief Deputy Whip and Senior Chief Deputy Whip from 2003 to his death.
Lewis had been awarded many honorary degrees and was the recipient of numerous awards from eminent national and international institutions, including the highest civilian honor of the United States, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. On December 29, 2019, it was announced that Lewis was receiving treatment for stage IV pancreatic cancer.
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U.S. Congressman John Lewis turned to the graphic novel format to discuss the Civil Rights Movement with March, a vivid first-hand account of his lifelong struggle for civil and human rights. On November 4, 2013, Congressman Lewis sat for an interview with MSNBC‘s Rachel Maddow.
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He will be greatly missed.