Civil rights icon and US Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia who is known as a towering figure who fought for our rights has died at age 80 after a battle with cancer. He died a day before the birthday of the late Nelson Mandela — another renowned champion of racial equality.
Six months ago, Lewis announced his biggest battle ever against Stage IV pancreatic cancer.
“This month in a routine medical visit, and subsequent tests, doctors discovered Stage IV pancreatic cancer. This diagnosis has been reconfirmed,” he said. Stage IV cancer is sometimes referred to as metastatic cancer, because it often means the cancer has spread from its origin to distant parts of the body.
“I have been in some kind of fight — for freedom, equality, basic human rights — for nearly my entire life. I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now,” Lewis stated.
The long-serving Democrat has represented Georgia’s 5th Congressional District, which includes much of Atlanta, since first being elected in 1986. This year, he was serving his 17th term in the House.
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.
Lewis has been awarded many honorary degrees and is the recipient of numerous awards from high-ranking national and international institutions, including the highest civilian honor of the United States, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Condolences flooded social media in support of what the Congressman has done and who he is as a person.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced his death in a statement.
“Today, America mourns the loss of one of the greatest heroes of American history: Congressman John Lewis, the Conscience of the Congress,” the California Democrat said.
Lewis was widely seen as a moral fixture of Congress because of his decades-long track record of nonviolent battles for…