Civil rights icon and U.S. Rep. John Lewis, who has been receiving hospice care, passed away at the age of 80, a source has told NBC News.
Lewis, a Democrat, played a key role in the civil rights movement and marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965 in Selma, Alabama. He was the youngest and last survivor of the Big Six civil rights activists, led by King Jr., who engineered one of the greatest moral protests in history.
Lewis was best known for leading some 600 protesters in the 1965 Bloody Sunday march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. At the head of the march, Lewis was knocked to the ground and beaten by Alabama state troopers. His skull was fractured.
Televised images forced the country’s attention to racial oppression in the South. A Democrat from Atlanta, he won his U.S. House seat in 1986.