RELATED: 78-year-old joined thousands for march in Atlanta last month
From a hardscrabble childhood in Alabama, by the time he was a teen he had embraced the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s nonviolent resistance to segregation.
Later, he became a student activist, taking part in the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins, the 1961 Freedom Rides, the 1963 March on Washington and the Bloody Sunday march in 1965, where he was beaten in the skull by a state trooper in Selma, Alabama. Lewis has represented Georgia's 5th Congressional District since 1987.