WASHINGTON (AP) — John Lewis, who carried the struggle against racial discrimination from Southern battlegrounds of the 1960s to the halls of Congress, has died. He was 80.
Lewis was the last survivor of the Big Six civil rights activists, led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
55 years ago today, we marched on Washington for jobs and freedom. I spoke number six, Dr King spoke number ten, and out of everybody who spoke that day I’m the only one still around. #goodtrouble pic.twitter.com/vdRHADZ45t— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) August 28, 2018
He was best known for leading 600 protesters in the 1965 Bloody Sunday march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, where he was knocked to the ground and beaten by state troopers. Televised images forced the country’s attention on racial oppression.
54 years ago today, we were beaten, tear gassed, trampled by horses, and left bloody on that bridge in Selma. But we cannot rest. We cannot become weary. We must honor those who gave their lives for the right to vote. We must continue to find a way to get in the way. #goodtrouble pic.twitter.com/Utygfx9hzc— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) March 7, 2019
A Democrat from Atlanta, he won his U.S. House seat in 1986.
He was the recipient of the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom.