Born to Alabama sharecroppers in 1940, John Lewis grew up amid racial segregation. Influenced by the words of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., he went on to dedicate his life to not only ending racism but protecting all human rights.
One of the Civil Rights Movement’s most influential leaders, Lewis was the youngest keynote speaker at the historic 1963 March on Washington and led what became known as Selma, Alabama’s “Bloody Sunday” demonstration in 1965.
He was elected to Atlanta City Council in 1981 and Congress in 1986, where he went on to represent Georgia’s District 5 for almost 34 years.