By Tyler Aquilina
July 18, 2020 at 11:51 AM EDT
Advertisement
Credit: Mark Humphrey/AP

Representative John Lewis, an icon of the Civil Rights Movement, who fought for racial justice throughout his life and career, died Friday night at age 80 after a battle with cancer. A widely revered figure for his commitment to activism and contributions to progress, Lewis received an outpouring of tributes on social media in the wake of his death, with many celebrities joining the chorus of homage.

"Rest in Heavenly peace Mr. John Lewis," Viola Davis wrote on Twitter. "Thank you for your service, for your commitment to change and your courage. You did great with your time on this earth."

"We have lost a great American. We have lost a great man," wrote The Wire and John Wick star Lance Reddick. "Any freedom I enjoy today was built on the shoulders of your courage, integrity and strength. Rest well my brother. You have earned eternity with the Angels. We will keep fighting."

Former President Barack Obama, who awarded Lewis the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011, posted a lengthy statement honoring the congressman, writing, "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."

Lewis was one of the original Freedom Riders, the group of activists who rode interstate buses in the South to protest segregation; a founding member and chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee; one of the leaders of the 1963 March on Washington and the last living speaker at the march; and spent 33 years representing Georgia in Congress. He was known for characterizing his activism as "good trouble," which became the title of a 2020 documentary on his life.

You can see more tributes to Lewis below.

Related content:

Comments