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Civil rights icon John Lewis remembered as "one of the greatest heroes of American history"

The death on Friday of civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) at age 80 has triggered an outpouring of tributes from leading lawmakers on both sides sides of the political aisle and other leading figures.

What they're saying: Former President Bill Clinton tweeted early on Saturday, "John Lewis gave all he had to redeem America’s unmet promise of equality and justice for all, and to create a place for us to build a more perfect union together. In so doing he became the conscience of the nation."


  • The NAACP said in a statement late Saturday: "We are deeply saddened by the passing of John Lewis. His life-long mission for justice, equality and freedom left a permanent impression on our nation and world. The NAACP extends our sincerest condolences to his family, and we send prayers of comfort and strength to all."
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) said in a statement Friday night that "America mourns the loss of one of the greatest heroes of American history."
"In the halls of the Capitol, he was fearless in his pursuit of a more perfect union, whether through his Voter Empowerment Act to defend the ballot, his leadership on the Equality Act to end discrimination against LGBTQ Americans or his work as a Senior Member of the Ways and Means Committee to ensue that we invest in what we value as a nation."
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement early on Saturday, "our nation will never forget this American hero."
  • Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R), tweeted Saturday night, "A civil rights icon, freedom fighter, and beloved Georgian ... Our nation will never be the same without him. There are no words to adequately express the sadness that countless Americans are feeling upon learning this news."
  • Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said in a statement early on Saturday, "Congressman John Lewis was an American hero — a giant, whose shoulders upon many of us stand. Throughout his life, he showed unending courage, generosity, and love for our country. ... We are grateful that John Lewis never lost sight of how great our country can be. He carried the baton of progress and justice to the very end. It now falls on us to pick it up and march on. We must never give up, never give in, and keep the faith."
  • Julián Castro, the former Hud Secretary and 2020 candidate, tweeted late Saturday, "John Lewis was a giant among men. A Civil Rights Icon, an indefatigable champion for justice, and a hell raiser known for making ‘good trouble.’ In mourning his passing, let us aspire to build the nation that Congressman Lewis believed it could be. May he Rest In Peace."

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