Mourning the death of U.S. Representative John R. Lewis, civil rights leader and icon of American history

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Senate Resolution No. 3286


MOURNING the death of U.S. Representative John R.
Lewis, civil rights leader and icon of American

WHEREAS, It is the custom of this Legislative Body to pay homage to
a man of indomitable faith and dedication whose purposeful life and
accomplishments will forever stand as a paradigm and inspiration for
others; and

WHEREAS, With feelings of deepest regret, this Legislative Body
records the passing of John Robert Lewis who died on Friday, July 17,
2020, at the age of 80; he served in the United States House of
Representatives for Georgia's 5th congressional district from 1987 until
his death; and

WHEREAS, Born on February 21, 1940, in Troy, Alabama, the third of
10 children of sharecroppers Willie Mae and Eddie Lewis, John R. Lewis
graduated from the American Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville,
Tennessee, before receiving a bachelor's degree in religion and
philosophy from Fisk University; and

WHEREAS, While studying at Fisk University, John R. Lewis became
involved in the civil rights movement by organizing sit-ins at
segregated lunch counters, bus boycotts, and other non-violent protests
as part of the Nashville Student Movement; and

WHEREAS, Dedicated to the movement, John R. Lewis was one of the
original 13 Freedom Riders who rode on public transportation from
Washington, DC to New Orleans in an integrated fashion and was arrested
many times, beaten and imprisoned; and

WHEREAS, In 1963, as Chairman of the of the Student Nonviolent
Coordinating Committee (SNCC), John R. Lewis was one of the primary
organizers of the March on Washington and spoke at the March; and

WHEREAS, Known as the "conscious of Congress", John R. Lewis was one
of the most liberal congressmen to represent a Deep South district, and
over the course of 17 elections, he only once got less than 70 percent
of the vote when he received 69 percent in 1994; and

WHEREAS, Congressman John R. Lewis was Senior Chief Deputy Whip and
served on the Committee on Ways and Means; among the successful
legislation he sponsored was the bill establishing the National Museum
of African American History and Culture; and

WHEREAS, John R. Lewis spent his whole adult life fighting racism;
he was awarded over 50 honorary degrees from prestigious colleges and
universities throughout the United States, including Harvard University,
Brown University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University,
Duke University, Morehouse College, Clark-Atlanta University, Howard
University, Brandeis University, Columbia University, Fisk University,
and Troy State University; and

WHEREAS, Furthermore, in 2011, President Barack Obama awarded him
the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor;

WHEREAS, John R. Lewis was a stalwart champion in the on-going
struggle to demand respect for the dignity and worth of every human
being; he dedicated his entire life to non-violent activism and was an
outspoken advocate in the struggle for equal justice in America; and

WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body to give acclaim to
individuals of great character whose lives exemplify the highest ideals
of humanity; and

WHEREAS, Predeceased by his wife of 44 years, Lillian Miles Lewis,
John R. Lewis is survived by his son, John-Miles Lewis; and six
siblings; as well as approximately 30 nieces and nephews; and

WHEREAS, In appreciation of his life of commitment, dedication and
substantial contribution, it is the intent of this Legislative Body to
inscribe upon its records this tribute to the memory of Congressman John
R. Lewis that future generations may know and appreciate his admirable
character, his many benevolent deeds, and the respect and esteem in
which he was held; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
mourn the death of U.S. Representative John R. Lewis, and to express its
deepest condolences to his family; and be it further

RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be
transmitted to the family of U.S. Representative John R. Lewis.


  • 20 / Jul / 2020
  • 22 / Jul / 2020
  • 22 / Jul / 2020

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative


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