Civil rights movement icon Rep. John Lewis died Friday night at the age of 80 after losing his bout with pancreatic cancer.
Breitbart News reports that Lewis, who was one of the youngest leaders of the civil rights movement alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. and other leaders of the era, was a key figure in the House Democrat conference. During his time as the head of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Lewis helped organized the March on Washington at which King delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech.
“Lewis was a committed participant in some of the key moments of the movement — an original Freedom Rider in 1961, a principal speaker at the March on Washington in 1963, one of those brutally clubbed during a 1965 march in Selma,” Politico wrote. “Through it all, he faced taunts, beatings and dozens of arrests.”
In 1986 Lewis was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He served until his death on Friday night, for more than 30 years.