Rep. John Lewis of Georgia died late Friday at the age of 80 after a months-long battle with Stage IV pancreatic cancer.
He was a civil rights icon and served in the House of Representatives since 1987. A lifelong champion of desegregation and voting rights, Lewis was one of the original Freedom Riders, a group of civil rights activists who rode interstate buses through the South to demonstrate against segregated bus terminals.
Lewis gained national prominence on March 7, 1965, when he led over 600 peaceful protesters across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. The day became known as “Bloody Sunday” after Alabama state troopers violently subdued the demonstrators with tear gas and batons when they reached the end of the bridge. Lewis suffered a fractured skull as a result of the attack.
President Donald Trump on Saturday ordered flags to fly at half-staff following the death of civil rights icon and longtime congressman. The flags will fly at half-staff for the remainder of the day all across the world, including at the White House, all public buildings, military posts and stations, U.S. embassies and consular offices abroad, as well as naval vessels.
Tributes for Lewis came in early Saturday from former presidents Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, as well as lawmakers from both parties, who praised Lewis for his lifelong dedication to finding liberty and justice for all.