Politicians, celebrities mourn death of civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis

  • Many who knew Rep. John Lewis expressed their grief over the civil rights icon’s death on Friday night. 
  • Lewis revealed he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December 2019.
  • Many are sharing about Lewis’s impactful career and legacy.
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Politicians and celebrities are mourning the death of Rep. John Lewis, a decorated civil rights icon and the last surviving speaker of the March on Washington.

Many are sharing about Lewis’s impactful career and legacy. He had served in Congress since 1987. 

Martin Luther King III called Lewis an “American treasure.”

“He gave a voice to the voiceless, and he reminded each of us that the most powerful nonviolent tool is the vote. Our hearts feel empty without our friend, but we find comfort knowing that he is free at last,” the human rights advocate and son of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. wrote on Twitter. 

Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia compared Lewis’s death to a light going out in the world. 

“The grief of losing this great soul is beyond words. But we have been greatly blessed — our world is so much better for having had John Lewis in it,” Beyer wrote. 

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Lewis’s “goodness, faith, and bravery transformed our nation.”

In a statement, she wrote: “John Lewis’s memory moves us all to, in the face of injustice, make ‘good trouble, necessary trouble.’ May it be a comfort to his son John-Miles & his entire family that so many mourn their loss at this sad time.”

She highlighted his fight for civil rights from his experience with discrimination “at lunch counters and on Freedom Rides, to the courage he showed as a young man facing down violence and death on Edmund Pettus Bridge, to the moral leadership he brought to the Congress for more than 30 years.”


Rep. Ilhan Omar, one the first Muslim woman to serve in Congress and a Somali refugee, called Lewis a “giant” and a “moral voice for the whole nation.”


In a tweet, journalist Dan Rather expressed his disbelief at the civil rights activists’ death. Lewis died at 80 after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December 2019, he revealed in a statement at the time.

“The news hits deep. And to the core. John Lewis dead. Can it really be? He had strength, courage, and heart enough for many lifetimes. We were young once. So many memories. So much distance traveled. So much further to go. Farewell, my friend. We shall overcome someday,” Rathers wrote. 

CNN reporter Nick Neville called Lewis “One of the bravest men our country has ever been blessed with.”

Former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described Lewis “always ‘walking with good wind’ steered by a moral compass that told him when to make good trouble and when to heal troubled waters.” 

Hong Kong activists Joshua Wong sent his condolences about Lewis’s death.

“I’m saddened to learn of the death of the civil-rights hero and Congressman John Lewis. He was a tireless champion of a more equal America, a more equal world, through his activism and public service, which have inspired so many of us. I’ll never forget his support for #HongKong,” Wong tweeted.

Bernice King, the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. also praised Lewis’s lifetime accomplishments. 

“You served God and humanity well. Thank you. Take your rest,” she wrote. 

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, who served five terms in the House of Representatives called working alongside Lewis “one of the honors of my life.”

“An exceptional leader and fighter for the American Dream. May he Rest In Peace,” Polis wrote in a tweet.

This is a developing story.

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