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WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 15: U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) (R) is presented with the 2010 Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama during an East Room event at the White House February 15, 2011 in Washington, DC. Obama presented the medal, the highest honor awarded to civilians, to twelve pioneers in sports, labor, politics and arts. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

U.S. Congressman John Lewis, a civil rights icon who helped organize the 1963 March on Washington and served in Congress for decades, has died, Lewis was 80 years old.

CBS News reported that Nancy Pelosi, who announced his passing, called Lewis a “titan of the civil rights movement, whose goodness faith and bravery transformed our nation.”

In December 2019, Lewis announced he had been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. He said, “In some kind of fight – for freedom, equality, basic human rights – for nearly my entire life. I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now.”

Lewis told Gayle King in June of the the nationwide protests that erupted after the death of George Floyd, “This feels and looks so different. It is so much more massive and all-inclusive. To see people from all over the world taking to the streets, to the roadways, to stand up, to speak up, to speak out, to do what I call ‘getting in trouble. And with a sense of determination and commitment and dedication, there will be no turning back.”

He added at the time, “People now understand what the struggle was all about. It’s another step down the very, very long road toward freedom, justice for all humankind.”

Brandon Plotnick is a former sports journalist, now living in the digital space with interests all over the musical and pop culture map.