When John Lewis met the 102-year-old delegate at the DNC

Georgia Rep. John Lewis had just finished addressing the Arizona delegates at the Democratic National Convention when a special guest wanted to see him.

Jerry Emmett, the 102-year-old honorary chair of Arizona's delegation, wanted to meet the Atlanta civil rights icon. So Arizona delegate Janie Hydrick walked her, arm-in-arm, to meet Lewis.

Lewis had heard Emmett’s show-stopping announcement of Arizona’s delegate tally at Tuesday’s roll-call vote, and he immediately embraced her. He told her: "I'm very proud of you."

"It was a moment that will always stay in my heart," Hydrick told us. "Jerry has been an Arizona icon for Democratic values for decades, and I have revered Congressman Lewis since his courageous fight for human and civil rights in the '60s.  To see them together, physically embracing as their values and courage had been interlocked for so long renewed my commitment to the struggle."

Emmett told our AJC colleague Erica Hernandez that she never imagined she would get to meet Lewis.

“He has done so much to help do away with the tensions between Americans,” she said.

As for Lewis? He said that Emmett told her she hopes to live to see Clinton elected.

"She cried and I cried with her," said Lewis. "It's very moving to see people who have lived so many years and to see that their hopes and their dreams, their aspirations, are realized."

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.