Atlantans, Georgians mourn John Lewis on social media

Credit: Tyson Alan Horne

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John Lewis, who played a 60-year, outsized role on America’s stage, died Friday after a battle with cancer, his office confirmed. He was 80 years old.

Credit: Tyson Alan Horne

Civil rights hero, congressman died Friday night at age 80

As news spread of the death of Congressman John Lewis, Atlanta residents took to Twitter to express their grief over his death and their appreciation for his life.

Lewis represented the 5th District for 33 years, but much of Atlanta and Georgia claimed him as their own.

» Read and sign the online guestbook for Congressman John Lewis

ExploreJohn Lewis, civil rights hero, Georgia congressman, dies at 80

“Rep. John Lewis was a giant of a man. Never angry or puffed up with self-importance, he was a humble servant who loved humanity. And we loved him back. Thank you, John Lewis for your contribution to the cause of love and peace. I will follow your example."

- Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA)

“A pillar of the civil rights movement, Rep. John Lewis dedicated his life to human and civil rights, always in the forefront of the fight for racial justice. Rep. Lewis helped teach us that racism, intolerance or discrimination of any kind have no place in our communities. He was not only an icon of civil rights, but an advocate for all people. He served as a voice for Georgians across the state – ensuring all were heard. His loss will be felt as we continue the fight to end racism, building on his legacy dedicated to freedom, justice, and equality for all humankind."

- Paul Bowers, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power

“John Lewis was the kind of man you only come across once in a lifetime. His kindness, character and unrelenting pursuit for equality earned him respect from across the political spectrum, and I was personally proud to call him a friend and work with him on issues of importance for Georgia. Julianne and I send our prayers to his family during this difficult time, and I hope John rests peacefully in the next life -he has earned it."

- Former U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)

“it was an honor to serve with John Lewis. While our recorded votes show philosophical disagreement i certainly respected him. John was a frontline soldier in the most active battles of the civil rights movement yet he never slowed down to a cushy desk job as a Congressman. I remember being at his house one night and he told me what his weekend schedule was - crisscrossing the country to speak to unions, Democrat groups, activists and environmental organizations. Until recently he kept such incredible schedules.

He knew what he believed in and fought tirelessly for it.

Despite his national prominence he kept his humility & often told a story about preaching to chickens when he was a child. He said that's how he started his career!

John was a friend and a true part of the strong fabric we call America."

- Former Congressman Jack Kingston (R-Savannah)
ExploreJohn Lewis left footprints across metro Atlanta

“I don't know of another leader in this country with the moral standing of Rep. John Lewis. His life and work helped shape the best of our national identity. We revered him not only for his work and sacrifices during the Civil Rights Movement, but because of his unending, stubborn, brilliant determination to press for justice and equality in this country. There was no cynicism in John Lewis; no hint of despair even in the darkest moments. Instead, he showed up relentlessly with commitment and determination - but also love, and joy and unwavering dedication to the principles of non-violence. He spoke up and sat-in and stood on the front lines – and risked it all. This country – every single person in this country – owes a debt of gratitude to John Lewis that we can only begin to repay by following his demand that we do more as citizens. That we ‘get in the way.' That we ‘speak out when we see injustice' and that we keep our ‘eyes on the prize.'"

- Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel:

“John was a giant among men who fiercely dedicated his life to fighting for equality and justice for all. He fought this fight until the very end, and our nation is a better place because of him. There are some people in life you feel honored to meet, and John was certainly one of those people. He was and will always be an icon, and I will be forever grateful that I was able to call him a friend. His wisdom, spirit, and friendship will be deeply missed."

- Congressman Earl L. "Buddy" Carter (R-Ga.)
ExplorePHOTOS: John Lewis through the years