Leaders and political figures across the nation paid tribute to late-Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) following the news of his death, remembering him as “a pioneering civil rights leader who put his life on the line to fight racism, promote equal rights, and bring our nation into greater alignment with its founding principles” and someone who “helped transform this country.”
Lewis, a civil rights movement icon who worked alongside the likes of Martin Luther King Jr., passed away Friday after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Tributes have poured in as political figures celebrate and remember his contributions to the movement.
“The Senate and the nation mourn the loss of Congressman John Lewis, a pioneering civil rights leader who put his life on the line to fight racism, promote equal rights, and bring our nation into greater alignment with its founding principles,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said in a statement, promising that the nation will “never forget this American hero”:
The Senate and the nation mourn the loss of Congressman John Lewis, a pioneering civil rights leader who put his life on the line to fight racism, promote equal rights, and bring our nation into greater alignment with its founding principles. https://t.co/cRBl30fwtA
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) July 18, 2020
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) credited Lewis with helping to “transform this country” and added that the leader “won’t ever be forgotten by those who believe America can change when the people stand together and demand it”:
John Lewis inspired millions to fight for justice. His courage helped transform this country. He won’t ever be forgotten by those who believe America can change when the people stand together and demand it. Our thoughts are with his loved ones.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) July 18, 2020
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of my good friend, @repjohnlewis,” Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) said, noting that Lewis welcomed him with “open arms” when he came into the House in 2011:
I am deeply saddened by the passing of my good friend, @repjohnlewis. I’m grateful for his encouragement during my tenure in Congress. He welcomed me with open arms when I came to the House in 2011.
— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) July 18, 2020
I am encouraged by his courage, determination, and perseverance, characteristics that we can all try to emulate – especially in the wake of current events. My prayers are with the Lewis family during this time.
— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) July 18, 2020
“My heart is saddened. Last night John Lewis died, but for 80 years he showed us how to truly live,” Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said. “Our hero is with God. May we be his legacy”:
My heart is saddened. Last night John Lewis died, but for 80 years he showed us how to truly live.
Our hero is with God.
May we be his legacy.
May we love as courageously; serve as humbly; and until justice rolls down like water, may we always cause Good Trouble. pic.twitter.com/5RSEAAcJlt
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) July 18, 2020
Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton described Lewis as the “truest kind of patriot.”
“He believed America could be better, even live up to its highest founding ideals of equality & liberty for all. He made good trouble to help us get there,” she said, calling on the rest of the country to “carry on his work”:
John Lewis was the truest kind of patriot. He believed America could be better, even live up to its highest founding ideals of equality & liberty for all. He made good trouble to help us get there. Now it’s up to the rest of us to carry on his work. Rest in power, my friend. pic.twitter.com/a3gEAiMzp3
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 18, 2020
“We have lost a moral giant,” former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said. “The courage of John Lewis, getting into what he called ‘good trouble,’ shaped America for the better.”
“He will live on any time we honor his words to us in Selma: ‘We must use the vote as a nonviolent instrument or tool to redeem the soul of America,’” he added:
We have lost a moral giant. The courage of John Lewis, getting into what he called “good trouble,” shaped America for the better. He will live on any time we honor his words to us in Selma: “We must use the vote as a nonviolent instrument or tool to redeem the soul of America.”
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) July 18, 2020
“Rep. John Lewis was an icon of the civil rights movement, and he leaves an enduring legacy that will never be forgotten,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said, offering prayers to his family:
Rep. John Lewis was an icon of the civil rights movement, and he leaves an enduring legacy that will never be forgotten. We hold his family in our prayers, as we remember Rep. John Lewis’ incredible contributions to our country.
— Kayleigh McEnany (@PressSec) July 18, 2020
My full statement: https://t.co/TVZsGzalO4
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) July 18, 2020
From marching in Selma to serving in the House, Representative John Lewis spent his life fighting for civil rights for every single American. He is an American hero and a giant. And we are all better for the "good trouble" he made. Rest in peace, John.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) July 18, 2020
John Lewis’s memory moves us all to, in the face of injustice, make “good trouble, necessary trouble.” May it be a comfort to his son John-Miles & his entire family that so many mourn their loss at this sad time. https://t.co/cPEn54Tpi6
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) July 18, 2020
.@repjohnlewis's courage and iconic leadership—in the civil rights movement and in the House—awakened the consciousness of our nation. It was an honor to serve with him.
Rest in power, John. Thanks for the good trouble. We'll carry on your legacy in our fight to end injustice. pic.twitter.com/N5qlfNxXfk
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) July 18, 2020
My statement on the passing of Congressman John Lewis: pic.twitter.com/epi5hhaG0o
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) July 18, 2020
John Lewis was a giant among us and a powerful force for good. I was fortunate to serve with him in the US House and I know his legacy will inspire future generations. Jaime and I send our prayers and condolences to his loved ones as the country reflects on his legacy.
— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) July 18, 2020
This country is a better place because John Lewis fought his entire life to make it that way. We have lost a giant. It’s up to all of us to continue the fight for equal justice where he left off.
— Senator Jon Tester (@SenatorTester) July 18, 2020
America and Congress are better places because of John Lewis. His dedication to civil rights, public service and his personal graciousness were testimony as to how to live. He ran the good race. Congress and the nation will feel his loss.
— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (@SenBillCassidy) July 18, 2020
A lifetime of struggle for civil rights. A lifetime of getting into “good trouble”, of fighting for a world that is more just. A true hero. Indeed, “because of you, John”. pic.twitter.com/3u7qeqtCI0
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) July 18, 2020
Our deepest sympathy to the family and loved ones of Rep. John Lewis, long-time civil rights activist and congressman, who passed away yesterday. https://t.co/7jEspOozfo
— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) July 18, 2020
I have lost a dear friend and a real hero. I will always remember standing on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma with John Lewis on a misty Sunday morning many years ago. John pointed to the spot where he had been viciously beaten and almost died fifty years before. pic.twitter.com/coiyk7D4Zh
— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) July 18, 2020
He called me “daughter” and would tell me how incredible it was for me to be in Congress and visit Africa with him as his colleague.
He never lost his youthful joy and passion for democracy.
It was so contagious and fueled all who knew and loved him.
Rest in power sir ✊🏽 pic.twitter.com/tZX7CYQEKG
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) July 18, 2020
John Lewis was and will always be an American hero and champion for civil rights, who inspired us all to make good trouble in the fight for justice.
Rest in power, Rep. John Lewis.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) July 18, 2020
We learned from civil rights giant Congressman John Lewis that we have “a moral obligation, a mission and a mandate, to speak up, speak out and get in good trouble.”
In honor of his legacy, we will continue on this path of good trouble.
Rest in power, Congressman.
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) July 18, 2020
2/x One of the original Freedom Riders, John was a young man at the dawn of the Civil Rights movement & he survived a brutal beating on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.
At age 23, he was a keynote speaker at the March on Washington, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 18, 2020
4/x Heidi & I are lifting up in prayer his family, his loved ones & all of America as we mourn the loss of a good and great man. His legacy will endure on, as we continue to strive for Justice for All. #RIPJohnLewis
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 18, 2020