The life of John Lewis

Rep. John Lewis, an icon of the civil rights movement, is now fighting for his life. This is his story.

Civil rights leader

He was born in Alabama in 1940, the son of sharecroppers. He attended several segregated schools during the Jim Crow-era South. At 15, he was inspired by Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. and at 20, he joined the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement. At 21, he joined the Freedom Rides of 1961, which led to the desegregation of public busses. At 23, he was the youngest speaker at the March on Washington. At 25, he helped lead the Selma to Montgomery march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

Marching record

The marchers were attacked and beaten by Alabama state troopers on what came to be known as Bloody Sunday. At 37, he worked in the Carter administration in a department overseeing volunteer service. At 41, he was elected to the Atlanta City Council where he advocated for ethics in government and neighborhood preservation. At 47, he was elected to The House of Representatives representing Georgia's 5th district — where he’s been re-elected 14 times.


As a congressman he’s led several nonviolent actions including a gun reform sit-in on the House floor. In March 2003, Lewis spoke to a crowd of 30,000 in Oregon during an anti-war protest before the start of the Iraq War. He was arrested in 2006 and 2009 and outside the Sudan embassy in protest against the genocide in Darfur. He’s also boycotted the inaugurations of George W. Bush, and Donald Trump. As a member of the Democratic Congressional leadership, he served as senior chief deputy whip since 2003. At 71, he was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama. At 79, he announced a diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer.


01/03/2020 10:58 AMupdated: 01/03/2020 7:30 PM


  • Kelly D.
    06/24/2020 09:53

    R. I. P.

  • Richard S.
    05/12/2020 17:49

    These are the last days Make your peace with God give Jesus your ❤️

  • Otis T.
    02/06/2020 12:12

    Icon, thank you Sir, job well done!

  • Louis S.
    02/01/2020 03:44

  • Louis S.
    02/01/2020 03:37

  • George G.
    02/01/2020 02:44

    I'm from Arkansas I KNOW ABOUT THEM days. THEY wound LET me chop cotton I WAS about 13 years OLD. BUT I try, in the late 50th THEY WAS paying 1 DOLLAR AND a half Sun up to Sun down .

  • Don R.
    02/01/2020 01:15

    Mlk was nothing but a race bater and he got a lot of people hurt. He was nothing and he wasn't a doctor or maybe he was just a punk.

  • Juan V.
    01/31/2020 23:19

    A true Icon , Mr. Lewis . We need more leaders like you Sir.

  • Burama F.
    01/31/2020 22:44

    May Almighty Allah grant you good Health and longevity, Armeen masahAllah.

  • Gloria B.
    01/31/2020 19:48

    Why when black people's are honoured for their good work it piss most white people's off. He is a good man that live through the Civil right's movement he stood up to you hateful white folk's back then and still it to this day. And made a successful move to help all just not black people's but you white folk's as well. I'm grateful and proud of him. I'm also a spire by him as well. Thank you MR.JOHN LEWIS my God bless you and keep. What is wrong with some of you white folk's.

  • Steve-o L.
    01/31/2020 16:08

    Of course he’s a terrorist!!!!

  • Virgina S.
    01/31/2020 15:12


  • Shelmadene T.
    01/31/2020 15:01

    Lord please keep mr Lewis under your healing wings in Jesus name amen. 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾

  • Bobbie M.
    01/31/2020 05:00

    He was a great man who didn't just talk the talk but he walked the walk!! Love you Mr Lewis!!

  • Barbara P.
    01/31/2020 02:26

    Absolutely Amen

  • Patrick F.
    01/31/2020 01:28

    God blessed him.

  • Keith W.
    01/30/2020 20:19

    I really hope your fellow Republicans and Democratic will remember what you being telling them not to be taillights. Just be the headlights so the people you work so hard for can move forward. One Love ❤️ J. L. R. I. P.

  • Curry S.
    01/30/2020 13:47

    Thank you John Lewis for your courage. Your legacy will forever be a beacon of light.

  • Steven W.
    01/30/2020 12:43

    Thank you for your services and Trump you try to undermine everything President Obama has done but there's one thing we know for sure, You can't undo this one he got his well deserved metal of honor and there's nothing you can do about this one you talked down on his city but we know who he were and we know what he sacrificed for his people's. RIP you've done your service to this world you've definitely made a difference in this world.

  • Will E.
    01/30/2020 11:02

    Great man,thank you so much my brother.

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