Friday (July 17) evening, news broke on social media that civil rights leader and U.S. Representative John Lewis passed away at the age of 80. Journalist and author Roland Smith tweeted: “I am on the phone with @AmbAndrewYoung and he just said he got the call that @repjohnlewis has died.”
We have yet to learn the cause of this death, as this news is continuing to develop. Just last month, Lewis did an interview with New York Magazine, however, discussing his health. At the end of 2019, he revealed that he was diagnosed with stage-four pancreatic cancer.
After saying that his health was improving, Lewis told the outlet: “I’m feeling good. I’m doing better. And I’m going to continue to listen to the doctor and try to eat right and get enough rest and sleep.”
“But, I have good days and days not so good,” he continued. On that specific day he was being interviewed, he added, however, “I feel good.”
Always on the frontlines fighting the good, hard fight for social justice and change, Lewis fearlessly served to make the United States better for all African Americans for decades. From marching with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to partaking in sit-ins and boycotts during Jim Crow, the civil rights leader turned politician was never afraid to get his hands dirty if it meant America would be better for it.
When asked about the protests that have been taking place in the last few months, Lewis stated: “We must never ever give up, or give in, or throw in the towel. We must continue to press on! And be prepared to do what we can to help educate people, to motivate people, to inspire people to stay engaged, to stay involved, and to not lose their sense of hope.”
He continued that Dr. King would “preached the philosophy of nonviolence, but he also was a man of action...” Lewis added: “We must continue to say we’re one people. We’re one family. We all live in the same house.”
Rest in power, Congressman John Lewis. And thank you for fighting the good fight for your people.
We are deeply saddened by the passing of John Lewis. His life-long mission for justice, equality and freedom left a permanent impression on our nation and world. The NAACP extends our sincerest condolences to his family, and we send prayers of comfort and strength to all.— NAACP (@NAACP) July 18, 2020
Heartbroken by the loss of two incredible leaders ❤️ Reverend C.T. Vivian and Congressman John Lewis both dedicated their lives to the fight for racial equity and for that we are forever, gratefully, indebted #RIP pic.twitter.com/cC9K1n8Guv— Yara shahidi (@YaraShahidi) July 18, 2020
.@RepJohnLewis was a titan of the civil rights movement whose goodness, faith and bravery transformed our nation. Every day of his life was dedicated to bringing freedom and justice to all. pic.twitter.com/xMbfAUhLUv— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) July 18, 2020
John Lewis was an icon who fought with every ounce of his being to advance the cause of civil rights for all Americans. I'm devastated for his family, friends, staff—and all those whose lives he touched.— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) July 18, 2020
My friend, thank you for showing the world what #GoodTrouble looks like. pic.twitter.com/cvG8nSJCW5