ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Tributes from Maryland lawmakers and leaders continue to pour in for civil rights icon and Congressman John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat who died Friday at the age of 80.
CBS News reports Lewis, who served in Congress for more than three decades, had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He said in December when announcing his diagnosis he had “never faced a fight quite like the one I have now.”READ MORE: 'Let's Go For It': Western Maryland Residents React To Letters From Republican Lawmakers To West Virginia Asking To Be Adopted By The State
Gov. Hogan ordered flags be lowered to half staff in honor of his life and legacy.
John Lewis represented the very best of our nation—a selfless public servant and moral leader who transcended the ideological divide. He spent the greater part of his life fighting for equality and justice, and he leaves an indelible mark on American history. It is a sad day.
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) July 18, 2020
The governor tweeted the following statement Saturday:
“John Lewis represented the very best of our nation—a selfless public servant and moral leader who transcended the ideological divide. He spent the greater part of his life fighting for equality and justice, and he leaves an indelible mark on American history. It is a sad day.”
Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott said, “there are no words to describe the great sense of loss I feel following Congressman Lewis’ death.
“Last night, the world lost a giant. There are no words to describe the great sense of loss I feel following Congressman Lewis’ death. Throughout decades of turmoil and unrest, he has been a leader and a beacon of light for us all.
Baltimore City Mayor Jack Young called Lewis, “a giant among men who believed that our country could be better than what it was and he gave his blood, sweat, and tears in that pursuit.”READ MORE: Aromatherapy Spray Linked To US Deaths Faces Recall
U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen said his heart is, “heavy with the tremendous loss our nation faces with the passing of civil rights hero and my dear friend, Congressman John Lewis. John fought his entire life for us, getting into ‘good trouble’ to make the world more just for all.”
U.S. Senator Ben Cardin said, “John Lewis’ wisdom served as the steady moral conscious in Congress and for our nation. His passing calls upon us all to follow his example and carry on the fight for justice.”
Representative Kweisi Mfume said that, “We are sad today, but heaven is rejoicing. John has claimed his final reward.”
Lewis joined the Freedom Riders at 21 years old and was the youngest — and last surviving — speaker at the March on Washington in 1963.MORE NEWS: ‘We Want To Prevent This From Happening Again’ Witnesses Describe Deadly Collision Between Fire Truck And Dirt Bike Rider In Baltimore As Advocates Call For Solutions
Lewis was an advocate for civil rights throughout his life, including during his political career, which began in 1981 when he was elected to the Atlanta City Council and then to Congress in 1986.