Rep. John Robert Lewis, a Georgia Democrat and civil rights icon, died Friday. He was 80 years old.
Lewis passed seven months after a routine medical visit revealed that he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Congressional Black Caucus confirmed the news of his death.
Known as the "conscience of the U.S. Congress," Lewis continually represented Georgia's 5th Congressional District, which includes most of Atlanta, since taking office in 1987. His cancer diagnosis in December 2019 did not interrupt that streak.
"So 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. We still have many bridges to cross," he said in a statement at the time.
Lewis, who was born on Feb. 21, 1940 to sharecroppers in Troy, Alabama, attended segregated public schools and counted the Montgomery Bus Boycott and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s radio broadcasts as inspiration for his work as an activist.
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