What Is John Lewis Famous For? A Look at His Legacy




John Lewis (February 21, 1940 – July 17, 2020) was an American civil rights leader and U.S. Congressman from Georgia. He was one of the "Big Six" leaders of the civil rights movement, and played a key role in the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965.

Early Life and Activism:

  • Born in Troy, Alabama, Lewis became involved in the civil rights movement at a young age.
  • He was a student at American Baptist College in Nashville, Tennessee, when he joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1961.
  • Lewis was one of the original Freedom Riders, who challenged segregation on interstate buses in 1961.
  • He was also a leader of the March on Washington in 1963, where he delivered a stirring speech.

Selma to Montgomery Marches:

  • In 1965, Lewis helped to organize the Selma to Montgomery marches, which were aimed at securing voting rights for African Americans.
  • On March 7, 1965, Lewis and other marchers were attacked by state troopers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.
  • This event, known as "Bloody Sunday," helped to galvanize support for the civil rights movement and led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Congressional Career:

  • In 1986, Lewis was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he represented Georgia's 5th congressional district.
  • He served in Congress for 17 terms, until his death in 2020.
  • Lewis was a vocal advocate for civil rights, social justice, and economic equality.
  • He was also a strong critic of President Donald Trump.


  • John Lewis is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the civil rights movement.
  • He was a tireless advocate for justice and equality, and his work has had a profound impact on the United States.
  • Lewis's legacy is one of courage, determination, and hope.


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