Presidents, Georgia Politicians Pay Tribute To Civil Rights Leader John Lewis

Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, the civil rights leader stands beneath a bust of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Lewis, who carried the struggle against racial discrimination from Southern battlegrounds of the 1960s to the halls of Congress, died Friday, July 17, 2020.
Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, the civil rights leader stands beneath a bust of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Lewis, who carried the struggle against racial discrimination from Southern battlegrounds of the 1960s to the halls of Congress, died Friday, July 17, 2020.
Credit J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press, File
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Updated July 18, 3:44 p.m.

Since the death of Georgia Congressman John Lewis, tributes have been made to honor the life and legacy of the civil rights icon.

Lewis died on Friday of pancreatic cancer and is survived by his son, John Miles Lewis.

Federal, state, and local politicians have been paying homage to Lewis, from those who worked with him to people who called him a friend.

President Donald Trump

“Saddened to hear the news of civil rights hero John Lewis passing. Melania and I send our prayers to he and his family,” Trump said in a Twitter post.

Vice President Mike Pence

“Congressman John Lewis was a great man whose courage and decades of public service changed America forever, and he will be deeply missed. John Lewis will be remembered as a giant of the civil rights movement whose selflessness and conviction rendered our nation into a more perfect union and his example will inspire generations of Americans.

While John Lewis will be rightly remembered as an icon of the civil rights movement, for me he was also a colleague and a friend. Even when we differed, John was always unfailingly kind and my family and I will never forget the privilege of crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge at his side on the 45th anniversary of Bloody Sunday.”

Former President Jimmy Carter

“Rosalynn and I are saddened by the death of Congressman John Lewis. He made an indelible mark on history through his quest to make our nation more just. John never shied away from what he called ‘good trouble’ to lead our nation on the path toward human and civil rights. Everything he did, he did in a spirit of love. All Americans, regardless of race or religion, owe John Lewis a debt of gratitude. We send our condolences and prayers to his family and friends.”

Former President Barack Obama

“He loved this country so much that he risked his life and his blood so that it might live up to its promise. And through the decades, he not only gave all of himself to the cause of freedom and justice, but inspired generations that followed to try to live up to his example,” Obama said in a Medium post.

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden

 “John’s life reminds us that the most powerful symbol of what it means to be an American is what we do with the time we have to make real the promise of our nation – that we are all created equal and deserve to be treated equally. Through the beatings, the marches, the arrests, the debates on war, peace, and freedom, and the legislative fights for good jobs and health care and the fundamental right to vote, he taught us that while the journey toward equality is not easy, we must be unafraid and never cower and never, ever give up,” they said in a statement.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp

“A civil rights icon, freedom fighter, and beloved Georgian, @repjohnlewis lost his battle with cancer today. Our nation will never be the same without him. There are no words to adequately express the sadness that countless Americans are feeling upon learning this news,” Kemp said in a Twitter post.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms

 “There are no words to describe the tremendous loss that Americans, Atlantans, and I personally feel upon learning of the passing of Congressman John Lewis,” said Bottoms in a lengthy statement. “America knew him as a Civil Rights Icon, Congressional Giant, and a moral compass, but I knew him as a friend.”

Democratic Party of Georgia Chairwoman Nikema Williams

“Our country has lost a giant tonight. Congressman John Lewis was America’s greatest champion in the fight for justice and equality, and showed us all how to put the people first. His legacy of Good Trouble will ring on in generations to follow, a guiding light for those continuing to march toward a more righteous future,” Williams said in a statement.

“He was my hero and my friend, and I will miss him very much.”

U.S. Sen. David Perdue

“No one embodied the word ‘courage’ better than John Lewis. As a civil rights icon, John inspired millions of Americans to fight injustice and reject the status quo. Without a doubt, his wisdom and resolve made the world a better place. Bonnie and I join the nation in sending heartfelt prayers to John’s loved ones during this difficult time. We hope they find comfort in knowing he is at peace and that his legacy will live on for generations to come.”

U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler

“The passing of John Lewis is a devastating loss, not just for Georgia, but the entire country,” said Loeffler. “Few people have the grit, tenacity or courage of John Lewis. As a leader in the civil rights movement, he always pushed America to live up to its promise of freedom and equality. Our nation is better because of his leadership and courage. We know his legacy will never be forgotten. Jeff and I join the nation in mourning this tremendous loss. May God comfort the Lewis family and their loved ones during this incredibly difficult time.”

Former U.S. Sen. Johnny Isackson 

‪”I am terribly saddened by the loss of a great man. @repjohnlewis was a man of faith, who fought every battle with dignity, including his last. His legacy and the lessons he leaves behind have touched us all, and my prayers are with all who loved him. We will miss you, my friend.‬”

U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson

“Rep. John Lewis was a giant of a man. Never angry or puffed up with self-importance, he was a humble servant who loved humanity. And we loved him back. Thank you, John Lewis for your contribution to the cause of love and peace. I will follow your example.”

U.S. Rep. Tom Graves

“John was a fighter. In the face of injustice and hatred, he put his life on the line to stand up for what was right. For more than three decades he fought for Georgia families in Congress while serving as a steady voice of reason, civility and justice.”

Stacey Abrams

God has welcomed @repjohnlewis home. Defender of justice. Champion of right. Our conscience, he was a griot of this modern age, one who saw its hatred but fought ever towards the light. And never once did he begrudge sharing its beauty. I loved him & will miss him.”

U.S. Senate Candidate Jon Ossoff

“Irreplaceable and beloved. Raised sharecropping in Troy, AL, he fought for the people his whole life with a huge and loving heart. He put it all on the line over and over again to better this world for all humanity. Congressman Lewis, we love you,” Ossoff said in a Twitter post.

U.S. Senate Candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock

“Today the world lost a giant. I lost a mentor, a church member and a friend. In his youth, John Lewis wrestled with a call to ministry. But instead of preaching sermons, he became a sermon for all the world to see. He was a walking, living sermon about love, truth-telling and justice-making on the earth.”

U.S. House of Reps. Candidate Carolyn Bourdeaux 

“Congressman Lewis was more than an American hero, he was the embodiment of what is just in this world and words simply cannot capture the magnitude of his legacy. It was the honor of my lifetime to have had his mentorship. The best I can hope to do is reflect on the immense impact he had on our country and offer my condolences to his loved ones. Rest in power.”

Atlanta City Council Member Michael Julian Bond

“This is truly the day that freedom sighed. I am woefully saddened to learn of the passing of civil rights icon and courageous freedom fighter, the Honorable Congressman John Lewis. Congressman Lewis was more than just a senior member of the civil rights community, he was one of the great pillars of the modern civil rights movement, a member of the ‘Big Six,’ who spoke at the March on Washington in 1963.”