On Friday (March 27), civil rights leader, Joseph Lowery, passed away at 98 years old. The Alabama native’s family confirmed that he died of natural causes.

Prior to his passing, Lowery was “often called the ‘dean’ of the civil rights movement,” according to CNN. He also worked alongside other social justice leaders including Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesse Jackson.

Back in 2004, during an interview with Atlanta Tribune, Lowery recalled what sparked his desire to fight for social justice. “A big white policeman was coming in, and he punched me in the stomach with his nightstick,” Lowery remembered before adding that he was 12 or 13 years old at the time. “He said, ‘Get back n—–. Don’t you see a white man coming in the door?’”

After hearing the news regarding Lowery’s death, many shared their condolences on social media. Tyler Perry was one of many celebrities that posted a heartfelt tribute to Instagram. “I was saddened today to hear about the passing of a true legend and icon, Dr. Joseph E. Lowery,” he began.

He continued, “We should all be grateful for his incredible work through the civil rights movement all the way up until his passing. The man was amazing, loving, kind, funny, a truth teller and a healer. I will miss his incredible jokes, quick wit, and him telling me about how much he enjoyed the twists, turns, and laughs in my shows. You will be missed my friend! Your family is in my prayers.”

Jamie Foxx also shared a similar sentiment. “Rest in peace, Joseph Lowery. One of our great heroes has passed. 98 years of service and dedication to civil rights. To us. He endured a tremendous amount of racial bias and inequalities #josephlowery,” Foxx wrote alongside a photo of Lowery and Barack Obama.

Rest in power, Joseph Lowery.