DemDaily: In Memoriam. The Lawmakers We Have Lost

July 28, 2020

John Robert Lewis 1940-2020 (Jeff Hutchens)

The nation mourned the loss one of history's greatest civil rights leaders yesterday as services were held for the late John Lewis, the 17-term "Conscience of Congress" from Georgia.

The revered 80-year-old Congressman, represented Atlanta, Georgia for 33 years until his death July 17th from pancreatic cancer.

Lewis was a leader in the US House of Representatives and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian honor.

As the son of southern sharecroppers, Lewis began his lifeline commitment to a non-violent civil rights movement at age 18 when he met Martin Luther King, Jr.

Lewis received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama in 2010

In the 1960's he was a chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), protesting racial segregation in the United States. He also launched Freedom Rides throughout the South and endured violent beatings by white mobs. In 1963, at age 23, Lewis spoke alongside Dr. King at the Lincoln Memorial and was the last surviving member of the "Big Six" leaders of groups who organized the March on Washington that day.

In 1965, Lewis led the Selma to Montgomery March across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. In the incident, which became known as Bloody Sunday, armed Alabama police brutally attacked unarmed civil rights demonstrators, including Lewis, who suffered severe head injuries.

On his lifelong commitment to non-violence, "I didn't give up, I didn't give in, I kept the faith, I kept my eyes on the prize. It's worth every step, every sit-in, every beating, every arrest."-- John Lewis
Lewis went on to serve as a Chief Deputy Whip and then Senior Chief Deputy Whip in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as the Chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.

Lewis is the first African American to Lie in State the US Capitol (Jonathan Ernst/AP)

 

Lawmakers We Have Lost During the 116th Congress

2020
US Senate
Tom Coburn (R-OK), 72, served House: 1995-2001, Senate: 2005-2015

US House
Jack Buechner (R-MO), 79, served 1987-1991
Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA), 56, served 2005-2007, 2011-2017
Richard Hanna (R-NY), 69, served 2011-2017
Amory Houghton, Jr. (R-NY), 81, served 1987-2005
Sam Johnson (R-TX), 89, served 1991-2019
John Lewis (D-GA), 80, served 1987-2020
Walter Powell (R-OH), 88, served 1971-1975
Tom Railsback (R-IL), 87, served 1967-1983
Darwin Gale Schisler (D-IL), 86, served 1965-1967
Pete Stark (D-CA), 88, served 1973-2013

Former Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) lost a battle to encephalitis last year (CNN)

2019
US Senate
Birch Bayh (D-IN), 91, served 1963-1981
Thad Cochran (R-MS), 81, served 1978-2018
Kay Hagan (D-NC), 66, served 2009-2015
Richard Lugar (R-IN), 87, served 1977-2013
Fritz Hollings (D-SC), 97, served 1966-2005
Harris Wofford (D-PA), 92, served 1991-1995
Richard Stone (D-FL), 90, served 1975-1980

US House of Representatives
Frank Ballance (D-NC), 77, served 2003-2004
Douglas Barnard Jr. (D-GA), 95, served 1977-1993
Berkeley Bedell (D-IA), 98, served 1975-1987
Bill Burlison (D-MO), 88, served 1969-1981
Jack Brinkley (D-GA), 88, served 1967-1983
William Broomfield (R-MI), 96, served 1957-1993

John Dingell represented Michigan for 59 years (politico)

John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), 90, served 1965-2019
Elijah Cummings (D-MD), 68, served 1996-2019
William Dannemeyer (R-CA), 89, served 1979-1993
John Dingell Jr. (D-MI), 92, served 1955-2015
Jack Edwards (R-AL), 91, served 1965-1985
Bobbi Fiedler (R-CA), 81, served 1981-1987
Donald Fraser (D-MN), 95, served 1963-1979
Paul Findley (R-IL), 98, served 1961-1983
Lou Frey (R-FL), 85, served 1969-1979
Bernard Grabowski (D-CN), 96, served 1963-1967
Ralph Hall (D-TX), 95, served 1981-2015
James Harvey (R-MI), 97, served 1961-1974
William Hughes (D-NJ), 87, served 1975-1995
Walter Jones (R-NC), 76, served 1995-2019
Joseph Kolter (D-PA), 93, served 1983-1993
Catherine Long (D-LA), 95, served 1985-1987

Jim Moody (D-WI) respresented Milwaukee for ten years

Manuel Luján Jr. (R-NM), 90, served 1969-1989
Jan Meyers (R-KS), 90, served 1985-1997
Jim Moody (D-WI), 83, served 1983-1993
Dick Nichols (R-KS), 92, served 1991-1993
Ogden Reid (D-NY), 93, served 1963-1975
Frederick Richmond (D-NY), 96, served 1975-1982
Fred Rooney (D-PA), 94, served 1963-1979
Ellen Tauscher (D-CA), 67, served 1997-2009

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Sources: US Senate, US House, usafmc, Wikipedia

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