John Lewis represented Georgia's 5th Congressional District, which includes much of Atlanta, since first being elected in 1986.
A leader of a civil rights group called the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, he was one of the participants in the key 1965 civil rights protest pushing for voting rights from Selma to Alabama's capital, Montgomery. Lewis — who had his skull broken by white police officers during the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma — was, by his own count, arrested more than 40 times during his days of civil rights activism.
In recent years, Lewis has drawn headlines for stirring up what he calls "good trouble" for his vocal opposition to Donald Trump — including voting to impeach the President.
In July, he offered a forceful rebuke of Trump's racist tweets against four Democratic congresswomen of color.
"I know racism when I see it. I know racism when I feel it. And at the highest level of government, there's no room for racism," he said.
"It sows the seeds of violence and destroys the hopes and dreams of people. The world is watching. They are shocked and dismayed because it seems we have lost our way as a nation, as a proud and great people."