Rep. John Lewis, a long-time Georgia deputy and the icon of the movement for civil rights, has died after a battle with pancreatic cancer, was confirmed Friday. He was 80. His death is the end of an era not only for Congress but for the country as a whole. A survivor of Alabama massacre “Bloody Sunday” in 1965, and a protégé of Martin Luther King Jr., which eventually inspired Barack Obama would give a public office, Lewis was one of the last surviving leader of the movement for civil rights. A member of Congress for more than thirty years, has channeled all that he had learned from his fight for equality as a young man in empowering young people and minorities and to promote activism. After the election of President Donald Trump, who was in his mid-70s, an active self-defined leader of the resistance movement, the boycott opening in 2017, accusing an impassioned speech on the need to give the president last October. “Him had been known as one of the most dedicated, principled, courageous civil rights of all” Clayborne Carson, historian and director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University, told TIME. “There was a lot of people that I apply myself these adjectives, but I think it exemplifies as well or better than anyone else,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has confirmed the death of Lewis in a statement, he said: “Today, America has the loss of the greatest hero in American history mourning: Congressman John Lewis, the conscience of the Congress. “John Lewis was a titan of the civil rights movement whose goodness, faithfulness and courage of our nation transformed – for the determination with where he met with discrimination at lunch counters and freedom rides, the courage that youth showed violence down and he brought death to the Edmund Pettus bridge, on the moral leadership for more than 30 years in Congress. “The death of Lewis’, came months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December 2019 IV state that his office was told during a routine -Arztbesuch discovered.” I was in a sort of struggle – for freedom, equality and fundamental human rights – for most of my life, “he said in a statement announcing her diagnosis.” I have never seen a fight quite similar to the one I have now finished. “Although he started early treatment in Washington, did not escape his duties, both in Congress and the struggle for equality. in March 2020, he returned twice in Selma, Alabama to commemorate the 55th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, where it was almost killed before fighting for half a century, the importance of the right to vote repeated. “we have to go and vote like we never voted before,” Lewis told a cheering crowd. “I will continue to fight. We need your prayers now more than ever. “These feelings are illuminated as, in a sense, the Lewis’ life is a microcosm, although exceptional evolution and struggles of African-American in the second half of the twentieth century in the United States. Born in 1940 in Troy, Alabama the son of sharecroppers, came of age in the heart of a region, a second class citizen from birth considered legalized racial injustice to him. But the treatment that received only change is imbued with a sense of things commitment, a view largely shaped by the activism to watch his idol: Martin Luther king Jr. Lewis first met king in 1958 as eighteen. Frustrated with his training in separate schools, was all white Troy University applied, but had received no response. he sought advice of the king in a letter that he immediately booked a ticket to Montgomery his situation and to discuss whether he should for inclusion in Troy University, in an attempt to push institution to integrate his hometown. It was King activism leads to inspired boycott of Montgomery buses, which took place less than 60 miles away from Troy, and often heard the King’s sermons were broadcast on radio for inspiration. “I was brought up in rural Alabama, very bad. I saw signs that the white and colored … And I wish that my mother, my father, my grandparents ask,” Why? Why is it so “And he said,” This is the way it is not it will not get in trouble in the way “But to hear that day of Martin Luther King, who gave me … a feeling that things could change, “Lewis wrote in LIFE for Martin Luther king Jr: .. 50 years later, a tribute to the king half a century after his 1968 assassination path to citizenship Despite the king Insurance support when the lawsuit against the University, Lewis advance are not been accepted because her parents were concerned, it would be at risk. Instead, he went to college at Tennessee in 1961 by the American Baptist Theological Seminary degree and then a master’s Fisk University in 1967. Both universities reception were almost exclusively African-American. During his time in the course of Lewis seminar classes you began on non-violent protests of James Lawson, a civil rights activist, who was a graduate attending Stu dent at Vanderbilt University at the time. Inspired by Lawson, she began sit-ins at lunch counters in Nashville in part that started in Greensboro, North Carolina shortly after the famous sit-in. He ‘was in Sit Lewis was arrested the first time in the present. In 1961, Lewis also joined the group of pilot constituent freedom from the East Coast to travel south, while the Intergovernmental defying segregation. E ‘was beaten arrested in Birmingham and Montgomery to a bus stop, but neither has organized events future participation in the movement. Within two years he had climbed the direction of the movement for civil rights, the student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee chaired who directed the movement of the student movement. He went on to talk about the youngest person in the March on Washington in 1963. “Until we can be patient?” A young crowd of thousands Lewis said in the Capitol of the nation together. “We want our freedom, and we want it now.” In an interview with TIME in 2013 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Marcia Lewis recalled how he was hit by the importance of the moment at the time. “I got up and I said, ‘This is it,'” he recalls. “I just saw, and I started talking.” In March of 1965, in the middle of his term, SNCC chaired Lewis was beaten by police while in the front of the march of 50 miles from Selma to Montgomery to push for the right to vote, in a known episode that came to be known as “Bloody Sunday.” King had planned to stay in Atlanta because workers fear for his safety, TIME reported in a cover story at the time. So Lewis and Hosea Williams, another activist for civil rights, has led hundreds of protesters trying to reach the Edmund Pettus Bridge. “We do not jump,” after Lewis Williams reminded tell. “We’re not going back. We’re going to go ahead” And that’s what we did. “They were quickly greeted by the police, clubs, some on horseback, others think, all right, to stop them.” Turn around and go back to your church! “Police Major cloud was called into a megaphone., You have two minutes to disperse!” the protesters have been sitting, and released the soldiers used tear gas and begin to beat them. Lewis suffered a skull fracture and was hospitalized. “I thought I would die on that bridge. I thought I saw” death, recalled 50 years after the march from Brown Chapel A.M.E. speaking church in Selma, who had protected him for the violence. “I do not remember as once again on this bridge, to die again to this church … but I refused.” Despite his injuries occurred Lewis King and other activists who received the march two weeks later in Montgomery again, The National Guard accompanies them to ensure their safety. Less than five months later, then-President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act enacted to prohibit racial discrimination by voting practices. Lewis joined in 1966 as SNCC chair but would go about changing the law has supported. As director of the Voter Education Project 1971-1977, he recorded four million minority electoral lists until then-President Jimmy Carter his associate director of the Federal Agency ACTION volunteers appointed. Legendary legislators her advocacy for equal rights it eventually led to the political arena, where he spent the last chapter of his life. unsuccessfully as the Democratic candidate for Fifth District of Georgia in 1977, he was elected a member of the Atlanta City Council after the execution. In 1986, he sat in his research as a congressman to serve, for the former Democratic primary runoff for state representatives and colleagues to defeat civil-Julian Bond, then prevails in the general election. He has held this role until his death. Known as “the conscience of the Congress,” Lewis has been respected, if not revered, by members on both sides of the aisle, a rare achievement in today’s polarized environment. It was not star-struck to be unusual for freshmen lawmakers of all stripes as he met Lewis for the first time. The leadership of Lewis learned at the height of the movement for civil rights were well suited to his role in the Capitol. At the time of his death was the chief deputy whip for the Democratic Party and member of the Ways & Means. leave 49 dead in 2016, following a shooting at an Orlando night club, led his colleagues in a 25 hours sit-in to force Republicans who control the chamber, when voting on gun control was recently released after legislators. “The American people demand action,” he said at the time. “We have the raw courage least paying deposit to stop gun violence in America?” The leadership of Lewis’ own displays easily visible from the ground. For years he accompanied the politicians on both sides of the aisle for Selma the power of “Bloody Sunday” to ensure, would remain in the public memory. And Lewis said, his colleagues generally heard – even if his opinions and decisions differed from them. In 2008, when candidate Barack Obama was still a long shot, Lewis, he has announced its approval was moving and securing the Illinois senator Hillary Clinton. The move was to cement crucial importance for the support of Obama among African Americans members of Congress who would be his victory over Clinton keys. Lewis reflects on the significance of Obama’s presidency in an interview with the period before the inauguration in 2009. “If the recording unit of the voters were the organization, go to the Freedom Rides, sitting here in Washington for the first time being arrested go to prison to be beaten, I thought that I never ever thought possible, what African Americans one day the US president are elected, “he said. In 2010, Obama Lewis, the Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor. Lewis has been married for 44 years to Lillian Miles, who have a son in 2012. They died, John Miles. Throughout his life and career, Lewis in his commitment to civil rights and remaining balances eloquently about his faith in an editorial for TIME in 2018 wrote, “I heard Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on many occasions, said L ‘arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward Gerechtigkeit.’ich believe we’ll get there yet, “he wrote in a quote, he repeated while after George Floyd death talk. “We are to redeem the soul of America, while we humans will delight all over the world to stand up and speak.” Buy a John Lewis at the time of printing commemorative cover.