Skip to main content

John Lewis Fast Facts

By CNN Library
updated 8:29 AM EST, Tue February 11, 2014

(CNN) -- Here's a look at the life of U.S. Representative John Lewis (D-Ga.), a civil rights leader.

Personal:
Birth date: February 21, 1940

Birth place: Troy, Alabama

Birth name: John Robert Lewis

Father: Eddie Lewis, sharecropper

Mother: Willie Mae (Carter) Lewis

Marriage: Lillian Miles Lewis (December 21, 1968-December 31, 2012, her death)

Children: John Miles

Education: American Baptist Theological Seminary, B.A., 1961; Fisk University, B.A., 1967

Religion: Baptist

Other Facts:
Lewis's skull was fractured on Bloody Sunday.

By his own count, he was arrested more than 40 times during his days of civil rights activism.

Timeline:
1959-1960 - Organizes student sit-in demonstrations in the Nashville, Tennessee, area.

May 1961 - Volunteers as a Freedom Rider, challenging bus and rail segregation laws.

1963-1966 - Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

August 28, 1963 - Keynote speaker at the March on Washington.

March 7, 1965 - Helps organize a voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, and is among 600 demonstrators attacked by police. This day becomes known as Bloody Sunday.

March 21-25, 1965 - Joins over 3,000 demonstrators marching from Selma to Montgomery, this time under the protection of federal troops. The size of the group reaches 25,000 by the time they reach Montgomery.

1966 - Co-founds the Southern Coordinating Committee to End the War in Vietnam.

1966-1967 - Associate director of the Field Foundation.

1967-1970 - Community organization director for the Southern Regional Council.

1970-1977 - Director of the Voter Education Project.

1977-1980 - Associate Director of ACTION, a federal volunteer agency. Appointed by President Jimmy Carter.

1982-1986 - Atlanta City Council member.

1987-present - Serves in the U.S. House of Representatives for Georgia's 5th District.

1988 - Lewis' memoir, "Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement," is published.

March 7, 2004 - The John R. Lewis Monument is unveiled in Selma at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge to commemorate the events of Bloody Sunday.

April 27, 2009 - Arrested outside the Embassy of Sudan, where he is protesting the obstruction of aid to refugees in Darfur.

February 15, 2011 - Is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

November 6, 2012 - Wins re-election to Congress for a 14th term.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT