Civil rights icon, and U.S. Representative John Lewis has died at the age of 80.

Lewis' career followed him as a freedom fighter alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Alabama, all the way to U.S. Congress. He was the youngest and last survivor of the Big Six civil rights activists led by Dr. King.

According to his congressional website, as a college student, he organized sit-ins against segregated lunch counters in Nashville, and in 1961 he joined the Freedom Rides against segregation at bus terminals across the South. He was best known for leading some 600 protesters in the 1965 Bloody Sunday march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.

However, in earlier this year, Lewis announced that he was involved in a new kind of fight - battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

“I have been in some kind of fight — for freedom, equality, basic human rights — for nearly my entire life. I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now,” he said in a statement. “I have decided to do what I know to do and do what I have always done: I am going to fight it and keep fighting for the Beloved Community."

Lewis’ wife of 44 years, Lillian Miles Lewis, died in 2012. The Lewis' are survived by  their son, John-Miles Lewis.


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