The civil-rights icon and longtime U.S. representative John Lewis died yesterday at the age of 80. Lewis began his life as the son of an Alabama sharecropper, and became active in the civil-rights movement while he was a student in Nashville, Tennessee. Lewis became nationally known after the March 7, 1965, “Bloody Sunday” march to Montgomery, Alabama, when he and dozens of other marchers were brutally beaten after crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge, in Selma, Alabama. In 1986, Lewis was elected to the House of Representatives, where he served his constituents from Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District until his death. President Barack Obama wrote of Lewis: “He loved this country so much that he risked his life and his blood so that it might live up to its promise.” During a commencement address in 2016, Lewis told Bates College graduates how he had been inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. to “get into trouble, good trouble,” and advised them that “you must find a way to get in the way and get in good trouble, necessary trouble … You have a moral obligation, a mission, and a mandate, when you leave here, to go out and seek justice for all. You can do it. You must do it.”
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