Rep. John Lewis, civil rights hero and the conscience of Congress, has died

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The United States lost one of its great living heroes Friday night with the death of Rep. John Lewis. Lewis, 80, had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December 2019.

Lewis was first elected to the House in 1986, but he first came to national prominence in the 1960s as a civil rights activist. He was a Freedom Rider in 1961, a speaker at the March on Washington in 1963, beaten and arrested repeatedly without ever giving up the fight. In 1965, Alabama state police fractured his skull as he led a march across the Edmund Pettus bridge in Selma—a bridge that really needs to be renamed. During his decades in Congress, Lewis never gave up his call for activists to make “good trouble, necessary trouble.”

Generations from now,” President Barack Obama said as he gave Lewis a Medal of Freedom in 2011, “when parents teach their children what is meant by courage, the story of John Lewis will come to mind—an American who knew that change could not wait for some other person or some other time; whose life is a lesson in the fierce urgency of now.”

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, Daily Kos reports

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