By Suzanne Malveaux, Lauren Fox, Faith Karimi and Brandon Griggs, CNN
Sat July 18, 2020
(CNN)John Robert Lewis, the son of sharecroppers who survived a brutal beating by police during a landmark 1965 march in Selma, Alabama, to become a towering figure of the civil rights movement and a longtime US congressman, has died after a six-month battle with cancer. He was 80.
Civil rights legend Rep. John Robert Lewis died Friday after a battle with cancer. He was 80.
Lewis, a Democrat, served as the US representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district for more than three decades.
World leaders, former US presidents, politicians and celebrities paid tribute to Lewis’ life.
Here’s what some of them have said:
- Former President Barack Obama: “Not many of us get to live to see our own legacy play out in such a meaningful, remarkable way. John Lewis did. And thanks to him, we now all have our marching orders — to keep believing in the possibility of remaking this country we love until it lives up to its full promise.”
- Former President George W. Bush: “America can best honor John’s memory by continuing his journey toward liberty and justice for all.”
- Former President Bill Clinton: “John Lewis gave all he had to redeem America’s unmet promise of equality and justice for all, and to create a place for us to build a more perfect union together. In so doing he became the conscience of the nation.”
- Former President Jimmy Carter: “John never shied away from what he called ‘good trouble’ to lead our nation on the path toward human and civil rights. Everything he did, he did in a spirit of love.”
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “Today, America mourns the loss of one of the greatest heroes of American history: Congressman John Lewis, the Conscience of the Congress.”
- House Majority Whip James Clyburn: “The country lost a hero last night, the movement lost an icon, and I lost a personal friend.”
- The Rev. Jesse Jackson: “John Lewis is what patriotism and courage look like. He sacrificed and personifies a New Testament prophet.”
- French President Emmanuel Macron: “A lifetime of struggle for civil rights. A lifetime of getting into ‘good trouble,’ of fighting for a world that is more just. A true hero. Indeed, ‘because of you, John.'”
- Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms: “The most humble of heroes, the most brave of giants. @repjohnlewis loved unconditionally and called upon us all to be a better version of ourselves. He was my Congressman and my best example of true servant leadership. I am grateful for his life and the joy of having known him.”
- Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp: “Congressman John Lewis was a Civil Rights hero, freedom fighter, devoted public servant, and beloved Georgian who changed our world in a profound way. #RIPJohnLewis.”
- Director Ava DuVernay: “Will never forget what you taught me and what you challenged me to be. Better. Stronger. Bolder. Braver.”