Representative John Lewis, an icon of the Civil Rights Movement, who fought for racial justice throughout his life and career, died Friday night at age 80 after a battle with cancer. A widely revered figure for his commitment to activism and contributions to progress, Lewis received an outpouring of tributes on social media in the wake of his death, with many celebrities joining the chorus of homage.
"Rest in Heavenly peace Mr. John Lewis," Viola Davis wrote on Twitter. "Thank you for your service, for your commitment to change and your courage. You did great with your time on this earth."
Rest in Heavenly peace Mr. John Lewis. Thank you for your service, for your committment to change and your courage. You did great with your time on this earth. "Goodnight sweet Prince. May flights of angels sing the to thy rest." And...pour some blessings on us down here 🙏🏿❤️ pic.twitter.com/9ZBSnLYmMa— Viola Davis (@violadavis) July 18, 2020
"We have lost a great American. We have lost a great man," wrote The Wire and John Wick star Lance Reddick. "Any freedom I enjoy today was built on the shoulders of your courage, integrity and strength. Rest well my brother. You have earned eternity with the Angels. We will keep fighting."
We have lost a great American. We have lost a great man. Any freedom I enjoy today was built on the shoulders of your courage, integrity and strength. Rest well my brother. You have earned eternity with the Angels. We will keep fighting.— Lance Reddick (@lancereddick) July 18, 2020
Much love and respect... #JohnLewis pic.twitter.com/vyA6rn4dHA
Former President Barack Obama, who awarded Lewis the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011, posted a lengthy statement honoring the congressman, writing, "He loved this country so much that he risked his life and his blood so that it might live up to its promise. 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."
Not many of us get to live to see our own legacy play out in such a meaningful, remarkable way. John Lewis did:https://t.co/KbVfYt5CeQ— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 18, 2020
Lewis was one of the original Freedom Riders, the group of activists who rode interstate buses in the South to protest segregation; a founding member and chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee; one of the leaders of the 1963 March on Washington and the last living speaker at the march; and spent 33 years representing Georgia in Congress. He was known for characterizing his activism as "good trouble," which became the title of a 2020 documentary on his life.
You can see more tributes to Lewis below.
This is the man that taught us all how to get into some #GoodTrouble. One of my heroes. A true legend. Thank you for teaching us how to fight for liberty & justice for all mankind. This photo was taken at the @HRC Dinner in DC 2016 right before the world blew up. RIP #JohnLewis pic.twitter.com/8BPFqCb5eA— Billy Porter (@theebillyporter) July 18, 2020
So much love, honor and respect for John Lewis. Although we never met, I’ve always admired your courage. Rest In Peace Mr. Lewis. We got it from here... pic.twitter.com/jVrjHLKH1p— Ice Cube (@icecube) July 18, 2020
What will the world be like without, John Lewis? What an icon. A giant among us. So grateful to have had any time with him. What warmth and wisdom he leaves behind for us. My goodness we will miss him so.— Ava DuVernay (@ava) July 18, 2020
h/t, @lizcriolla. pic.twitter.com/t4HELfW7wz
Let those of us whose hearts are now overflowing with sorrow and gratitude for the extraordinary blessing that was John Lewis. Let us, with the help of God, rise to be worthy of his sacrifices and the challenges that remain. #goodtrouble— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) July 18, 2020
John Lewis, an American hero. All black lives matter, but his was a standout in the fight for equality. One of the greats.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) July 18, 2020
I cherish the memory of being a fellow keynoter with Congressman John Lewis at the annual Asian American Journalists Association conference last August in Atlanta. A towering figure for civil rights, and a voice we will miss greatly. Rest in Power, sir. pic.twitter.com/W3eeJZGM76— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) July 18, 2020
John Lewis showed us how it’s done. What a remarkable, inspiring life. What a leader. What a fighter. What a gracious, generous, unrelenting presence. Such a loss. But his work will rouse hearts and spark change for generations to come. The good trouble carries on. pic.twitter.com/sYgWHGSgCZ— Beau Willimon (@BeauWillimon) July 18, 2020
Thank you, John Lewis, for what you’ve done for me, for all of us. Thank you for your loving, courageous and enduring leadership.— Lizz Wright (@lizzwrightmusic) July 18, 2020
You’re an ancestor now. Please watch over us from your resting place. pic.twitter.com/gtoSXt7qXB
'You must be prepared if you believe in something. If you believe in something, you have to go for it. As individuals, we may not live to see the end.'— Nancy Sinatra (@NancySinatra) July 18, 2020
~ John Lewis
Rest in Power. @repjohnlewis “When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something. To do something. Our children and their children will ask us, ‘What did you do? What did you say?’ “. #goodtrouble pic.twitter.com/eMkTSro6Mo— Megan Rapinoe (@mPinoe) July 18, 2020