19 Photos Of Rep. John Lewis's Lifelong Fight For Equality

From leading the civil rights movement alongside Martin Luther King Jr. to supporting LGBTQ rights, immigration reform, and protests against police brutality, John Lewis made the pursuit of justice his life's goal.

Georgia Rep. John Lewis, a leader of the civil rights movement who went on to serve in Congress for three decades, died Friday after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December.

A flood of tributes poured in from politicians, activists, and the public. The Congressional Black Caucus called Lewis a legend, an icon, and one of Atlanta's "most fearless leaders."

Lewis was one of the original 13 Freedom Riders, a group of Black and white activists who put their lives on the line to challenge segregated interstate travel. Their activism had a profound impact on the civil rights movement, and Lewis went on to become a leading figure in the movement alongside Martin Luther King Jr., enduring violent beatings and dozens of arrests to fight for Black Americans' voting rights.

Lewis returned to Selma every year to commemorate the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the New York Times reported.

As a member of Congress, Lewis continued speaking out against racial injustice and police brutality. He was also an early and vocal supporter of LGBTQ rights in Congress at a time when broad support for marriage for same-sex couples did not exist.

Just weeks before his death, Lewis expressed support for the nationwide protests against police killings of unarmed Black people. Lewis said the video of a police officer crushing George Floyd's neck with his knee for nearly nine minutes made him cry.

"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,'" he said in a CBS interview. "And with a sense of determination and commitment and dedication, there will be no turning back."

Here's a look back at Lewis's lifelong activism and his work championing equality.

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