Eleanor Clift: ‘I Never Became Bitter or Hostile’: How John Lewis Fought Until the End
Loss of a Legend: His death marks the loss of a revered civil rights icon, and the acknowledged conscience of Congress for more than 30 years.
Throughout his long career in Congress, which began in 1987, John Robert Lewis served as a reminder of his country’s past and how far his country has come. Born in Troy, Alabama, in 1940, the son of sharecroppers, he died at age 80 on Friday a revered civil rights icon, the acknowledged conscience of Congress for more than 30 years.
His death comes just a few months after he revealed he’d been diagnosed with stage-four pancreatic cancer, which he vowed to fight. “I have been in some kind of fight—for freedom, equality, basic human rights—for nearly my entire life. I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now,” he said at the time. He is survived by his son, John Miles Lewis. His wife, Lillian Miles, died on New Year’s Eve 2012.