John Lewis, Congressman and Civil Rights Icon, Has Died

Caroline Hallemann
Photo credit: Jeff Hutchens - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jeff Hutchens - Getty Images

From Oprah Magazine

John Lewis, the legendary civil rights leader and United States Representative for Georgia's 5th congressional district, has died. He was 80 years old. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and the Congressional Black Caucus confirmed the news of his death this evening.

"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," Pelosi said in a statement.

No additional information about his passing or plans for a funeral have been made public at this time. It's likely that details regarding a memorial service are still being worked out, given concerns related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

In December of last year, Lewis confirmed that he was suffering from pancreatic cancer.

"I have been in some kind of fight—for freedom, equality, basic human rights—for nearly my entire life," he said in a statement at the time, sharing that he planned to work through treatment. "I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now."

His life and work was recently chronicled in Dawn Porter's documentary, John Lewis: Good Trouble.

"We were filming my documentary, John Lewis: Good Trouble, which is out July 3, as the administration was dismantling laws that Lewis literally risked his life for," Porter wrote in a piece for Town & Country's summer 2020 issue.

"I would get really upset, but he would say, 'Dawn, you can’t get bitter. It will work out; it just might take longer than we’d like.'"

You Might Also Like

More From