The long-serving Georgia congressman died on Friday night at home. Lewis, who was a giant of the civil rights movement and often referred to as the “conscience of the Congress”, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December 2019.
Lewis was the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district and the dean of the Georgia congressional delegation. He became a leader of the Democratic Party in the U.S. House of Representatives, having served since 1991.
As chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was one of the “Big Six” leaders of groups who organized the 1963 March on Washington, played many key roles in the civil rights movement and its actions to end legalized racial segregation in the United States.
Lewis received many honorary degrees and awards from eminent national and international institutions, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Lewis died of cancer on July 17, 2020, aged 80.
President Trump issued a proclamation shortly after 11 a.m. to order all U.S. flags be flown at half-staff at the White House, all public buildings and grounds, all military posts and embassies for the remainder of Saturday “as a mark of respect for the memory and longstanding public service” of Lewis.
.@realDonaldTrump while the nation mourns the passing of a national hero, please say nothing. Please don’t comment on the life of Congressman Lewis. Your press secretary released a statement, leave it at that.
Please let us mourn in peace.
— Congressmember Bass (@RepKarenBass) July 18, 2020