Remembering John Lewis, the ‘conscience of Congress’: A life in photos

Images of the late Georgia Democrat from the CQ Roll Call archives

Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis is seen in February 2015 at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., where he was beaten by police on “Bloody Sunday” in 1965 during an attempted march to Montgomery for voting rights.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis is seen in February 2015 at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., where he was beaten by police on “Bloody Sunday” in 1965 during an attempted march to Montgomery for voting rights. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Jason Dick
Posted July 21, 2020 at 5:00am

Congress returned to Washington on Monday and began the process of grieving Rep. John Lewis, with the opening prayer on the House floor giving way to a moment of silence and tributes for the late Georgia Democrat before turning to what promises to be a busy week of legislating.

“The Congress returns mourning the loss of a sweet man, a saint, warrior and prophet, John Lewis,” House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy said.

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In the Senate, Chaplain Barry Black similarly paid respects in his opening prayer. “Lord, we thank you for your providence that brought us the gift of Rep. John Lewis. We’re grateful he was a drum major for justice, truth and righteousness,” he said, echoing the words of Martin Luther King Jr. that are inscribed just a few short blocks from the Capitol at the King memorial.

Plans for Lewis’ memorial services won’t be announced until later in the week, his family said, a move out of deference to the family of C.T. Vivian, another influential figure from the civil rights era and a longtime acquaintance of Lewis, who also died July 17 in Atlanta.

Meanwhile, Georgia Democrats on Monday chose state senator and state party chairwoman Nikema Williams to replace Lewis as their 5th District nominee on the November ballot.

[Colleagues and leaders remember John Lewis as a humble mentor, in addition to an icon]

Lewis walks down the House steps after a vote in December 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Lewis as seen in the Capitol as a third-term congressman in 1991. (Laura Patterson/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Lewis poses for photographs in February 2015 on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., where he was beaten during an attempted march to Montgomery in 1965. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Lewis speaks at a July 2005 news conference at the Library of Congress to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the historic Voting Rights Act. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Lewis joins Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others as they walk to the Capitol on March 21, 2010, for the vote on a health care overhaul. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Lewis is seen in his Cannon Building office in September 1999. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Lewis greets people in front of the Supreme Court in December 2000 as George W. Bush’s appeal of the Florida recount was underway. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Lewis is arrested outside the Sudanese Embassy in April 2009 during a protest against the humanitarian crisis in Darfur. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Lewis stands near the bust of Martin Luther King Jr. in the Capitol Rotunda in October 2019 before a memorial service for the late Rep. Elijah E. Cummings. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Lewis marches with fellow House Democrats in Washington in June 2018 to protest the Trump administration’s family separation immigration policy.
Lewis talks with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy in September 2007 before a hearing on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1957. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Alabama Rep. Terri A. Sewell hugs Lewis during Pope Francis’ address to a joint meeting of Congress in September 2015. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Lewis speaks at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, where Barack Obama became the first African American to be nominated by a major party for president. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)