John Lewis (U.S. politician)

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John Lewis
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 5th district
Assumed office
January 3, 1987
Preceded byWyche Fowler
3rd Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
In office
Preceded byCharles F. McDew
Succeeded byStokely Carmichael
Personal details
BornJohn Robert Lewis
(1940-02-21) February 21, 1940 (age 72)
Troy, Alabama
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Lillian Miles
ResidenceAtlanta, Georgia
Alma materAmerican Baptist Theological Seminary, Fisk University
Occupationpolitical consultant, civil rights leader
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John Lewis
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 5th district
Assumed office
January 3, 1987
Preceded byWyche Fowler
3rd Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
In office
Preceded byCharles F. McDew
Succeeded byStokely Carmichael
Personal details
BornJohn Robert Lewis
(1940-02-21) February 21, 1940 (age 72)
Troy, Alabama
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Lillian Miles
ResidenceAtlanta, Georgia
Alma materAmerican Baptist Theological Seminary, Fisk University
Occupationpolitical consultant, civil rights leader

John Robert Lewis (born February 21, 1940) is the U.S. Representative for Georgia's 5th congressional district, serving since 1987 and is the dean of the Georgia congressional delegation. He was a leader in the American Civil Rights Movement and chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), playing a key role in the struggle to end segregation. He is a member of the Democratic Party and is said to be one of the most liberal legislators.


Early life, education, and early career

Lewis was born in Troy, Alabama, the third son of Willie Mae (née Carter) and Eddie Lewis.[1] His parents were sharecroppers. Lewis was educated at the Pike County Training High School, Brundidge, Alabama and also American Baptist Theological Seminary and at Fisk University, both in Nashville, Tennessee, where he became active in the local sit-in movement. As a student he made a systematic study of the techniques and philosophy of nonviolence, and with his fellow students prepared thoroughly for their first actions. He participated in the Freedom Rides to desegregate the South, and was a national leader in the struggle for civil rights.[2] In an interview John Lewis said "I saw racial discrimination as a young child. I saw those signs that said "White Men, Colored Men, White Women, Colored Women."..."I remember as a young child with some of my brothers and sisters and first cousins going down to the public library trying to get library cards, trying to check some books out, and we were told by the librarian that the library was for whites only and not for "coloreds." John Lewis followed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and Rosa Parks on the radio. He and his family supported the Montgomery bus boycott.

Civil rights activism

John Lewis was an influential SNCC leader and is generally recognized as one of the important leaders of the civil rights movement. He was a hard-working young man who overcame poverty and political disenfranchisement to educate himself.

He graduated from the American Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville and then received a bachelor's degree in Religion and Philosophy from Fisk University. As a student, Lewis was very dedicated to the civil rights movement. He organized sit-ins at segregated lunch counters in Nashville and took part in many other civil rights activities. He was instrumental in organizing student sit-ins, bus boycotts and non-violent protests in the fight for voter and racial equality.

In 1961, Lewis joined SNCC in the Freedom Riders. He was one of the 13 original freedom riders. There were seven whites and six blacks. Riders traveled the South challenging segregation at interstate bus terminals. Lewis and others received death threats and were severely beaten by angry mobs. In 1963, when Chuck McDew stepped down as SNCC chairman, Lewis was quickly elected to take over. Lewis' experience at that point was already widely respected—he had been arrested 24 times as a result of his activism. He held the post of chairman until 1966.

By 1963, he was recognized as one of the "Big Six" leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, along with Whitney Young, A. Phillip Randolph, James Farmer and Roy Wilkins. In that year, Lewis helped plan and took part in the March on Washington in August 1963, the occasion of Dr. King's celebrated "I Have a Dream" speech. Lewis represented SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and was the youngest speaker.[3]

In 1964, Lewis coordinated SNCC's efforts for "Mississippi Freedom Summer," a campaign to register black voters across the South. Lewis became nationally known during his prominent role in the Selma to Montgomery marches. On March 7, 1965—a day that would become known as "Bloody Sunday" – Lewis and fellow activist Hosea Williams led over 600 marchers across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. At the end of the bridge, they were met by Alabama State Troopers, who ordered them to disperse. When the marchers stopped to pray, the police discharged tear gas and mounted troopers charged the demonstrators, beating them with night sticks. Lewis's skull was fractured, but he escaped across the bridge, to a church in Selma. Before he could be taken to the hospital, John Lewis appeared before the television cameras calling on President Johnson to intervene in Alabama. Lewis bears scars on his head that are still visible today.

Historian Howard Zinn wrote: "At the great Washington March of 1963, the chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), John Lewis, speaking to the same enormous crowd that heard Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech, was prepared to ask the right question: 'Which side is the federal government on?’ That sentence was eliminated from his speech by organizers of the March to avoid offending the Kennedy Administration. But Lewis and his fellow SNCC workers had experienced, again and again, the strange passivity of the national government in the face of Southern violence."[4]

"John Lewis and SNCC had reason to be angry. At 21 years old, John Lewis was the first of the Freedom Riders to be assaulted while in Rock Hill, South Carolina. He tried to enter a whites-only waiting room and two white men attacked him, injuring his face and kicking him in the ribs. Nevertheless, only two weeks later Lewis joined a Freedom Ride that was bound for Jackson. “We were determined not to let any act of violence keep us from our goal. We knew our lives could be threatened, but we had made up our minds not to turn back,” Lewis said recently in regard to his perseverance following the act of violence.[5]

In an interview with CNN during the 40th anniversary of the Freedom Rides, Lewis recounted the sheer amount of violence he and the 12 other original Freedom Riders endured. In Anniston, Alabama the bus was fire-bombed after Ku Klux Klan members deflated its tires, forcing it to come to a stop. In Birmingham, the Riders were mercilessly beaten, and in Montgomery an angry mob met the bus, where Lewis was hit in the head with a wooden crate. “It was very violent. I thought I was going to die. I was left lying at the Greyhound bus station in Montgomery unconscious,” said Lewis, remembering the incident. The original intent of the Freedom Rides was to test the new law that banned segregation in public transportation. It also exposed the passivity of the government regarding violence against citizens of the country who were simply acting in accordance to the law.[6] The federal government had trusted the notoriously racist Alabama police to protect the Riders, but did nothing itself, except to have FBI agents take notes. The Kennedy Administration then called for a 'cooling-off period,' a moratorium on Freedom Rides.[4] Lewis had been imprisoned for forty days in the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Sunflower County, Mississippi after participating in a Freedom Riders activity in that state.[7]

Lewis at meeting of American Society of Newspaper Editors, 1964

In February 2009, forty-eight years after he had been bloodied by the Ku Klux Klan during civil rights marches, Lewis received an apology on national television from a white southerner, former Klansman Elwin Wilson.[8][9]

After leaving SNCC in 1966, Lewis worked with community organizations and was named community affairs director for the National Consumer Co-op Bank in Atlanta.

Early political career

Before being elected to Atlanta City Council in 1981, Lewis faced "years of criticism as a holier-than-thou publicity seeker who challenged city leaders on ethical matters".[10] In the context of the "war on drugs", Lewis challenged Julian Bond to take a urine drug test during the 1986 Democratic runoff.[11] The Houston Chronicle called it "perhaps the best-known example" of congressional candidates challenging their opponents to drug testing.[11] The challenge could have served in Lewis' favor in his upset win as "there were signs that it may have damaged Bond among older black voters concerned about drug abuse among blacks".[11]

Lewis first ran for elective office in 1977, when a vacancy occurred in Georgia's 5th congressional district. A special election was called after President Jimmy Carter appointed incumbent U.S. Congressman Andrew Young to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Lewis lost the race to Atlanta City Councilman and future U.S. Senator Wyche Fowler.

After his unsuccessful bid for Congress in 1977, Lewis was without a job and in debt from his campaign. He accepted a position with the Carter administration as associate director of ACTION, responsible for running the VISTA program, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, and the Foster Grandparent Program. He held that job for two and a half years, resigning as the 1980 election approached.[12] In 1981, Lewis was elected to the Atlanta City Council.

U.S. House of Representatives



In January 1977, incumbent Democrat U.S. Congressman Andrew Young, of Georgia's 5th congressional district, decided to resign in order to become the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. under President Jimmy Carter. In the March 1977 open primary, Atlanta City Councilman Wyche Fowler, Jr. ranked first with 40% of the vote, failing to reach the 50% threshold to win outright. Lewis ranked second with 29% of the vote.[13] In the April election, Fowler defeated Lewis 62%–38%.[14]


After nine years of being a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Congressman Fowler decided to retire in order to run for the U.S. Senate. Lewis decided to run for the 5th district again. In the August primary, State Representative Julian Bond ranked first with 47%, just three points shy of winning outright. Lewis earned 35% in second place.[15] In the run-off, Lewis pulled an upset against Bond, defeating him 52%–48%.[16] In the November general election, he defeated Republican Portia Scott 75%–25%.[17]


During this time period Lewis was re-elected 17 times, each time winning with at least 69% of the vote. His worst election performance was in 1994, when he defeated Republican Dale Dixon by a 38 point margin, 69%–31%.[18]

He was only challenged in the Democratic primary twice: in 1992 and 2008. In 1992, he defeated State Representative Mable Thomas 76%–24%.[19] In 2008, Thomas decided to challenge Lewis again, as well as the Reverend Markel Hutchins. Lewis defeated Hutchins and Thomas 69%–16%-15%.[20]


John Lewis has been labeled a "far-left Democratic leader" by GovTrack and a "Hard-Core Liberal" by Issues2000.[21][22] The Washington Post described Lewis in 1998 as "a fiercely partisan Democrat but ... also fiercely independent."[23] Lewis characterized himself as a strong and adamant liberal.[23] The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said Lewis was the "only former major civil rights leader who extended his fight for human rights and racial reconciliation to the halls of Congress".[10] The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also said that to "those who know him, from U.S. senators to 20-something congressional aides", he is called the "conscience of Congress".[10] Lewis has cited former Florida Senator and Congressman Claude Pepper, a staunch liberal, as being the colleague that he has most admired.[24] Lewis has spoken out in support of gay rights and national health insurance,[23] and he has worked with the Faith and Politics Institute to advance their goals.[25]

Lewis opposed the U.S. waging of the 1991 Gulf War,[26] NAFTA,[27] and the 2000 trade agreement with China that passed the House.[28] Lewis opposed the Clinton administration on NAFTA and welfare reform.[23] After welfare reform passed, Lewis was described as outraged; he said, "Where is the sense of decency? What does it profit a great nation to conquer the world, only to lose its soul?"[29] In 1994, when Clinton was considering invading Haiti, Lewis, in contrast to the Congressional Black Caucus as a whole, opposed armed intervention.[30] When Clinton did send troops to Haiti, Lewis called for supporting the troops and called the intervention a "mission of peace".[31] In 1998, when Clinton was considering a military strike against Iraq, Lewis said he would back the president if American forces were ordered into action.[32] In 2001, three days after the September 11 attacks, Lewis voted to give Bush authority to retaliate in a vote that was 420–1; Lewis called it probably one of his toughest votes.[25] In 2002, he sponsored the Peace Tax Fund bill, a conscientious objection to military taxation initiative that had been reintroduced yearly since 1972.[33] Lewis was a "fierce partisan critic of President Bush" and the Iraq war.[10] The Associated Press said he was "the first major House figure to suggest impeaching George W. Bush," arguing that the president "deliberately, systematically violated the law" in authorizing the National Security Agency to conduct wiretaps without a warrant. Lewis said, "He is not King, he is president."[34]

Lewis draws on his historical involvement in the civil rights movement as part of his politics. He "makes an annual pilgrimage to Alabama to retrace the route he marched in 1965 from Selma to Montgomery – a route Lewis has since had declared part of the Historic National Trails program. That trip has become one of the hottest tickets in Washington among lawmakers, Republican and Democrat, eager to associate themselves with Lewis and the movement. 'We don't deliberately set out to win votes, but it's very helpful,' Lewis said of the trip".[10]

Charges about Tea Party using racial epithets

In March 2010 a report that Lewis and another black Congressman, Andre Carson, had been called the N-word by Tea Party protesters outside the Capitol received media attention.[35][36] Some conservative sources criticized the claim, saying that no video showed up to prove the charges, and the videotapes of the event that later surfaced seemed to in fact disprove them. The New York Times issued a correction in July 2010, acknowledging that there was no evidence of Tea Party members hurling racial epithets at Lewis and Carson. Andrew Breitbart offered a $100,000 reward for anyone who could provide audio or video evidence of one of these instances, but none surfaced.[37]


In March 2003, Lewis spoke to a crowd of 30,000 in Oregon during an anti-war protest before the start of the Iraq War.[38] He was arrested in 2006[39] and 2009 and outside the Sudan embassy to in protest against the genocide in Darfur.[40]


Lewis endorsed Joe Lieberman for re-election to the Senate in 2006 after Lieberman's loss to Ned Lamont in the Democratic primary.[41] In the 2004 Presidential race, Lewis endorsed Senator John Kerry (Democrat).[42] Lewis was one of 31 House members who voted not to count the electoral votes from Ohio in the 2004 presidential election.[43]

2008 Presidential election
Lewis speaks during the final day of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.

At first Lewis supported Hillary Rodham Clinton, endorsing her presidential campaign on October 12, 2007.[44] On February 14, 2008, however, he announced he was considering withdrawing his support from Clinton and might instead cast his superdelegate vote for Barack Obama: "Something is happening in America and people are prepared and ready to make that great leap."[45] Ben Smith of Politico said that “it would be a seminal moment in the race if John Lewis were to switch sides.”[46]

On February 27, 2008, Lewis formally changed his support and endorsed Obama.[47][48] After Obama clinched the Democratic nomination for president, Lewis said “If someone had told me this would be happening now, I would have told them they were crazy, out of their mind, they didn’t know what they were talking about ... I just wish the others were around to see this day. ... To the people who were beaten, put in jail, were asked questions they could never answer to register to vote, it’s amazing.”[49] Despite switching his support to Obama, Lewis' support of Clinton for several months led to criticism from his constituents. One of his challengers in the House primary election set up campaign headquarters inside the building that served as Obama's Georgia office.[50]

In October 2008, Lewis issued a statement criticizing the campaign of John McCain and Sarah Palin and accusing them of “sowing the seeds of hatred and division” in a way that brought to mind the late Gov. George Wallace and “another destructive period” in American political history. McCain said he was "saddened" by the criticism from "a man I’ve always admired", and called on Obama to repudiate Lewis’s statement. Obama responded to the statement, saying that he "does not believe that John McCain or his policy criticism is in any way comparable to George Wallace or his segregationist policies.”[51] Lewis later issued a follow-up statement claiming that he had never intended to compare McCain and Palin to Wallace himself, saying rather that his earlier statement had simply been a "reminder to all Americans that toxic language can lead to destructive behavior."[52]

Occupy Atlanta meeting

In October 2011, a meeting of Occupy Atlanta participants did not reach consensus to allow Lewis address the crowd. A video clip of protestors discussing the situation, and Lewis leaving without speaking, is published online.[53][54] Lewis said that he was not perturbed by the incident, and noted that "These are different times."[55]


Lewis's autobiography was published in 1999. His life is also the subject of a 2002 book for young people.[56]

Election statistics

A special election was called in 1977 after President Jimmy Carter appointed incumbent U.S. Congressman Andrew Young to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. In the Democratic special primary, Lewis and fellow Atlanta City Councilman Wyche Fowler qualified for the run-off primary because no candidate reached the 50% threshold and they were the top two candidates.[13] Fowler defeated Lewis 62%–38%.[14] In 1986, when Fowler retired to run for the United States Senate, Lewis defeated fellow civil rights leader and State Senator Julian Bond in the run-off primary 52%–48%.[16] This upset win[11] was tantamount to election in the heavily Democratic, majority-black 5th District, Lewis won the 1986 general election with 75% of the vote.[17] Lewis was the second African-American to represent Georgia in Congress since Reconstruction. (Young was the first.) In 1988, he won re-election with 78% of the vote.[57] In the 1990s, his lowest winning percentage was 69% in 1994. In 2010, he won re-election with 74% of the vote.[58]

Committee assignments

Caucus membership

Since 1991, Lewis has been senior chief deputy whip in the Democratic caucus.[citation needed] A December 2009 report on privately financed Congressional travel by The New York Times found Lewis to be recipient of the most trips since 2007, with a total of 40.[59]

Personal life

Lewis is a member of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity.[citation needed]


In 1999, Lewis was awarded the Wallenberg Medal from the University of Michigan in recognition of his courageous lifelong commitment to the defense of civil and human rights.

In 2002, he was awarded the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP.[60]

In September 2007, Lewis was awarded the Dole Leadership Prize from the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas.[61]

Lewis was the only living speaker from the March on Washington who was present on the stage during the inauguration of Barack Obama. Obama signed a commemorative photograph for Lewis with the words, “Because of you, John. Barack Obama.”[62]

On November 17, 2010, Lewis was awarded the First LBJ Liberty and Justice for All Award, given to him by the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation.[63]

In 2011, Lewis was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.[64]

In 2012, Lewis was awarded honorary LL.D. degrees from Brown University, Harvard University, and the University of Connecticut School of Law.


  1. ^ Stated on Finding Your Roots, PBS, March 25, 2012
  2. ^ Reporting Civil Rights: American Journalism 1963–1973, Part Two Carson, Clayborne, Garrow, David, Kovach, Polsgrove, Carol (Editorial Advisory Board), (Library of America: February 2003) ISBN=978-1-931082-29-7 pp. 15–16, 48, 56, 84, 323, 374, 384, 392, 491–94, 503, 505, 513, 556, 726, 751, 846, 873
  3. ^ "The Sixties". Junior Scholastic. February 11, 1994. p. 6. 
  4. ^ a b "My Name Is Freedom Albany, Georgia" (reprint). You Can't Be Neutral on A Moving Train. Boston: Beacon Press. 
  5. ^ "The Freedom Riders, Then and Now | History & Archaeology | Smithsonian Magazine". Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Civil Rights Timeline". CNN. January 31, 2006. 
  7. ^ Minor, Bill. "New law meant to eliminate existing ‘donut hole’." Desoto Times Tribune. Friday April 2, 2010. Retrieved August 14, 2010.
  8. ^ "Once Race Riot Enemies, Now Friends". ABC News. February 6, 2009. Retrieved August 22, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Man Asks Entire Town for Forgiveness for Racism – ABC News". ABCnews.go. February 6, 2009. Retrieved August 22, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c d e John Lewis: 'Conscience' carries clout: Civil rights icon's moral authority enhanced: [Main Edition] Kemper, Bob. The Atlanta Journal – Constitution [Atlanta, Ga] May 21, 2006: .1.
  11. ^ a b c d "Drugs offer theme for politics in 1986": Gailey, Phil. Houston Chronicle [Houston, Tex] Sep 9, 1986: 2.
  12. ^ Lewis, Walking with the Wind, pp. 446–451.
  13. ^ a b "GA District 5 – Special Election Primary Race – Mar 15, 1977". Our Campaigns. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b "GA District 5 – Special Election Race – Apr 05, 1977". Our Campaigns. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  15. ^ "GA District 5 – D Primary Race – Aug 12, 1986". Our Campaigns. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  16. ^ a b "GA District 5 – D Runoff Race – Sep 02, 1986". Our Campaigns. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  17. ^ a b "GA District 5 Race – Nov 04, 1986". Our Campaigns. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  18. ^ "GA District 5 Race – Nov 08, 1994". Our Campaigns. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  19. ^ "GA District 5 – D Primary Race – Jul 21, 1992". Our Campaigns. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  20. ^ "GA District 5 – D Primary Race – Jul 15, 2008". Our Campaigns. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Issues 2000 Lewis". Issues2000. 
  22. ^ "GovTrack Lewis". GovTrack. 
  23. ^ a b c d "Nonviolent Fighter; John Lewis Retraces the Route That Led to the Future": Carlson, Peter. The Washington Post [Washington, D.C] June 9, 1998: 01.
  24. ^ Smith, Asher (April 21, 2008). "The Tuesday Ten: An Interview with Rep. John Lewis". The Emory Wheel. 
  25. ^ a b Melanie Eversley (October 7, 2001). "Congress using religious compass in decisions". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: p. 7. 
  26. ^ Mike Christensen (January 11, 1991). "Mideast Trip Strengthens Georgia Lawmakers' Resolve". The Atlanta Constitution: p. A7. 
  27. ^ Colin Campbell (February 19, 1998). "Tour labors in opposition to NAFTA". The Atlanta Constitution: p. F02. 
  28. ^ Eric Schmitt and Joseph Kahn (May 25, 2000). "The China trade vote: A Clinton triumph; House, in 237–197 vote, approves normal trade rights for China". The New York Times. Retrieved February 27, 2011. 
  29. ^ "Social programs: world report. The wreck of the gravy train": Canada and the World Backgrounder 62. 2 (Oct1996): 3–34.
  30. ^ Sharon Schmickle (September 16, 1994). "President faces strong opposition in Congress". Star Tribune: p. 1. 
  31. ^ "Shared power, foreign policy, and Haiti, 1994. Public memories of war and race". Goodnight, G. Thomas; Olson, Kathryn M.; Rhetoric & Public Affairs 9. 4 (Winter 2006): 601–634.
  32. ^ Mark Sherman (February 12, 1998). "Georgia delegation divided on strategy; Some back force, others doubt military action is a real solution". The Atlanta Constitution: p. A14. 
  33. ^ Felicia R. Lee (August 3, 2002). "War Resisters: 'We Won't Go' To 'We Won't Pay'". The New York Times. Retrieved March 1, 2011. 
  34. ^ Vanden Heuvel, Katrina (January 2, 2006). "The I-Word is Gaining Ground-UPDATED". The Nation. 
  35. ^ Kane, Paul (March 20, 2010). "'Tea party' protesters accused of spitting on lawmaker, using slurs". The Washington Post. 
  36. ^ Stein, Sam (May 20, 2010). "Tea Party Protests: 'Ni**er,' 'Fa**ot' Shouted At Members Of Congress". The Huffington Post. 
  37. ^ "Correction Request: Tommy Christopher, Mediaite". Breitbart. 
  38. ^ "Tens of Thousands March Against Iraq War" Lichtblau, Eric. New York Times [New York, N.Y] Mar 16, 2003: 1.15.
  39. ^ "Lewis, 6 other lawmakers arrested in embassy protest": Kemper, Bob. The Atlanta Journal – Constitution [Atlanta, Ga] May 17, 2006: p.3.
  40. ^ "U.S. lawmakers arrested in Darfur protests at Sudan embassy". CNN. April 27, 2009. Retrieved April 27, 2009. 
  41. ^ Haigh, Susan (July 10, 2006). "Lieberman campaign files forms to run as petitioning candidate". The Boston Globe (Associated Press). 
  42. ^ Rep. Lewis Welcomes Kerry's Showing All Things Considered March 2, 2004.
  43. ^ "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 7". Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. January 6, 2005. 
  44. ^ "Rep. Lewis endorses Clinton". CNN Political Ticker. October 12, 2007. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  45. ^ Zeleny, Jeff and Patrick Healy (February 15, 2008). "Black Leader, a Clinton Ally, Tilts to Obama". The New York Times. "Representative John Lewis said he planned to cast his vote as a superdelegate for Barack Obama in hopes of preventing a fight at the Democratic convention." 
  46. ^ Ben Smith (15 February 2008). "Awaiting Lewis". Politico. Retrieved 01 August 2012. 
  47. ^ "Civil rights leader John Lewis switches to Obama" (from the Associate Press). Los Angeles Times. February 28, 2008. Archived from the original on March 2, 2008.,1,3290763.story. Retrieved February 28, 2008. "The Georgia congressman, who had previously endorsed Clinton, says he wants 'to be on the side of the people.'" 
  48. ^ "Lewis switches from Clinton to Obama". CNN Political Ticker. February 27, 2008. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  49. ^ Hearn, Josephine Hearn (June 4, 2008). "Black lawmakers emotional about Obama's success". 
  50. ^ Hernandez, Raymond (July 1, 2008). "A New Campaign Charge: You Supported Clinton". New York Times. 
  51. ^ Bumiller, Elisabeth (October 12, 2008). "Congressman Rebukes McCain for Recent Rallies". The New York Times. 
  52. ^ "John McCain equal to George Wallace? Barack Obama says ‘no,’ and John Lewis says he’s been misunderstood". October 11, 2008. 
  53. ^ Mandell, Nina (October 10, 2011). "Occupy Atlanta offshoot of Wall Street protest denies Rep. John Lewis chance to speak at gathering". NY Daily News. 
  54. ^ "John Lewis not miffed by “Occupy Atlanta” dis". Access Atlanta. 
  55. ^ Jennifer Brett. "John Lewis not miffed by “Occupy Atlanta” dis". The Buzz. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  56. ^ "From Freedom Rider to Congressman". Amazon. Retrieved June 29, 2012. 
  57. ^ "GA District 5 Race – Nov 08, 1988". Our Campaigns. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  58. ^ "GA – District 05 Race – Nov 02, 2010". Our Campaigns. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  59. ^ Aigner, Erin; Schoenfeld/, Amy (December 7, 2009). "Congressional Trips on the Corporate Dime". The New York Times. Retrieved December 27, 2009. 
  60. ^ NAACP Spingarn Medal
  61. ^ "Civil Rights Movement Pioneer to receive Dole Leadership Prize". September 26, 2007. Retrieved October 12, 2008. 
  62. ^ Remnick, David (February 2, 2009). "The President's Hero". The New Yorker. 
  63. ^ "Rep. John Lewis Honored as Civil Rights Champion with First LBJ Liberty and Justice for All Award". Retrieved April 3, 2012. 
  64. ^ Goldman, Julianna (February 15, 2011). "Obama Honors Buffett, George H.W. Bush With Medal of Freedom". Bloomberg. Retrieved February 15, 2011. 


External links

Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
Charles F. McDew
Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
Succeeded by
Stokely Carmichael
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Wyche Fowler
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 5th congressional district

January 3, 1987 – present
United States order of precedence
Preceded by
Wally Herger
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Louise Slaughter
D-New York