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Civil rights icon John Lewis subject of new biography

‘John Lewis: A Life’ author and Rutgers University professor David Greenberg promises new details
Georgia Congressman John Lewis speaks at the Lincoln Memorial August 28, 2013 in Washington, DC, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' speech. (Photo Credit: Joseph Sohm/shutterstock)

Legendary Civil Rights activist and long-time Georgia Representative John Lewis will be the subject of a brand new biography.

Publishing giant Simon & Schuster announced via press release that it plans to distribute the biography John Lewis: A Life, written by Rutgers University history professor David Greenberg, later this fall – nearly four years after his passing in 2020 at the age of 80.

John Lewis: A Life will “[present] new details in the life of a man who lived with courage and conviction, and who resisted hating those who hated him,” the press release states.

Touted as “the definitive biography of a Civil Rights icon whose remarkable career spanned 60 years, from lunch counter sit-ins through Black Lives Matter,” Greenberg’s book promises to tell Lewis’ story from his childhood in rural Alabama and his beginnings in community organizing to his move into elected office as a long-standing member of  Georgia’s House of Representatives.

Greenberg also uses the book to recall key historical moments in Lewis’ life, such as working as a Freedom Rider to help integrate bus stations, participating in dangerous and hostile sit-ins in Nashville, having the honor of being the youngest speaker at the historic 1963 March on Washington, and his near-death experience being beaten by Alabama state troopers in Selma on “Bloody Sunday.”

In addition to utilizing years of interviews with Lewis, Greenberg also spoke with “hundreds of others who knew him at various stages of his life,” including former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Readers will also be privy to never-before-seen FBI documents and details given by Lewis from his hospital bed interview just after the infamous Selma beating.

While Greenberg’s forthcoming book will give new insight into Lewis’s life, the long-time representative of Georgia’s 5th congressional district himself released the memoir Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement in 1999, giving a firsthand account of his life and career.

Lewis was also famously portrayed by Stephan James in Ava Duvernay’s 2014 award-winning drama Selma, which told the story of the historic Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.-led march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965.

John Lewis: A Life is set to be released on October 1.

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