Congressman John Lewis has died at the age of 80 of pancreatic cancer.
Born on Feb. 21, 1940, in Troy, Alabama, Lewis was inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at an early age. While a student at Fisk University, Lewis began organizing sit-ins at segregated establishments in Nashville, Tennessee, and also participated in Freedom Rides.
In 1963, Lewis helped to create the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, where he served as chairman. That year, he was a keynote speaker at the March on Washington.
He also marched on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, on March 7, 1965, which became known as “Bloody Sunday.”
In November 1986, Lewis was elected the U.S. Representative of Georgia’s 5th Congressional District and served in the position until his death.
Lewis is survived by his son, John Miles.