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John Lewis, iconic figure of the Civil Rights Era, dies at the age of 80

4:52 P.M. UPDATE:

(WBNG) -- Governor Andrew Cuomo released a statement on Lewis's passing, saying:

"John Lewis was one of the greatest men this country has ever known - a man of unimpeachable integrity, wisdom, courage, and morality. He was our conscience. And I know I speak for the entire family of New York when I say we are devastated by this loss.

"It's especially painful to lose Congressman Lewis at a moment when we need him most -- when division, fear, and anger are rampant and when we're trying to figure out how to rebuild our country better than we were before. He lived his life speaking for all of our better angels, and we will miss his singular voice.

"But as we continue working to realize Congressman Lewis' 'beloved community,' I find comfort in knowing his legacy -- of principle, faith, and the righteousness of good trouble -- lives in the hearts and actions of the countless Americans who were inspired by him and loved him.

"My thoughts are with Congressman Lewis' family today, especially his son, John-Miles."

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ATLANTA (AP) -- United States Congressman John Lewis, a civil rights icon, died on Friday after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

In December of 2019, Lewis announced he had Stage 4 pancreatic cancer and vowed to fight it.

The son of sharecroppers who was beaten on "Bloody Sunday," March 7, 1965 in Selma, Alabama, John Lewis faced Jim Crow laws in the South as he struggled for racial equality alongside others.

Lewis was the last surviving speaker at the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963.

Lewis told CBS This Morning in June that he believed the nationwide protests that erupted after the death of George Floyd were a tipping point.

“It was very moving, very moving to see hundreds of thousands of people from all over America and around the world take to the streets — to speak up, to speak out, to get into what I call ‘good trouble,’” said Lewis.

And the time, he said, “there will be no turning back.”

John Lewis was the United States Representative for Georgia's 5th congressional district. Rep. Lewis served 17 terms in the House.

Associated Press

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