Civil rights icon and Congressman John R. Lewis is dead

African American civil rights icon and Congressman John R. Lewis is dead. He passed away on Friday at the age of 80. He had been suffering from Stage IV pancreatic cancer since December.

John Lewis had an extraordinary life. He went from fighting for racial justice in the Jim Crow south to the halls of Congress where he represented Georgia for more than three decades.

As an original Freedom Rider who fought alongside Martin Luther King Jr., this son of an Alabama sharecroppers fought against the same issues still rocking America today in the Black Lives Matter movement.

Along with Martin Luther King Jr., John Lewis was an organizer of the March on Washington in 1963 that led to the passage of voting rights for Blacks two years later in 1965.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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