Civil rights icon John Lewis dead at 80

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Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

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Memphis, Tenn. — John Lewis, a celebrated civil rights icon with a decades-long career in Congress, has died. He was 80 years old.

Lewis is known for his work as an activist during the civil rights movement. He served as a chairman for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, also known as SNCC. Lewis was the youngest organizer of the 1963 March on Washington.

Lewis is also known for his role in the voting rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama that took place of in March of 1965. On March 7, 1965, a day now known as “Bloody Sunday,” Lewis helped lead 600 marchers and survived having his skull fractured by law enforcement.

Later that same month, Lewis joined thousands of people and marched the same route.

He was also the representative for Georgia’s fifth congressional district. Lewis served in the U.S. House of Representatives for more than 30 years.

Lewis was diagnosed with cancer in December of 2019.

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