John Lewis attends the U.S. Postal Service Unveiling of the 1963 March On Washington Stamp on August 23, 2013 in Washington, United States.
Photo: Riccardo S. Savi/Getty Images for U.S. Postal Service
Photo: Riccardo S. Savi/Getty Images for U.S. Postal Service

Rep. John Lewis joins Trump, Pope Francis in Time’s 100 Most Influential list

There’s one thing President Donald Trump, John Legend, Pope Francis and U.S. Rep. John Lewis have in common: All are recognized among the year’s 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine.

» RELATED: Atlantans say Trump is wrong about their city and John Lewis

The 2017 collection, released Thursday, recognizes iconic artists, leaders, athletes and executives who have influenced or changed the world, regardless of the consequences of their actions.

“Each has champions and critics; all are shap­ing the course of this turbulent year,” according to Time’s Nancy Gibbs.

One such influencer is civil rights icon and longtime Georgia congressman John Lewis, an ally of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and architect of the 1963 March on Washington.


Lewis, who made several headlines this year for his feud with Trump — once calling him an illegitimate president — and vocal opposition to the nomination of Jeff Sessions as attorney general — joined the ranks of Simone Biles, Viola Davis and Colin Kaepernick in Time’s “Icons” category.

» RELATED: Trump to John Lewis: Fix your ‘horrible’ Atlanta district

In an ode to Rep. John Lewis, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker wrote for Time:

“From freedom rides to freedom marches to leading Freedom Summer. From tear gas to jail cells to brutal, hateful beatings. With truly death-defying sacrifices and an almost irrational, love-fueled persistence in the cause of our country, John Lewis has spent his life dedicated to the freedoms, liberties and justice we enjoy.”

In 2014, Lewis tweeted a 1961 mug shot of an arrest in Mississippi that landed him in the notorious Parchman Penitentiary. He has been arrested more than 40 times as a civil rights activist.

Booker lauded Lewis’ service and love for the country as ever-present, not just as a verbal profession, but as a characteristic evidenced in the way he lives and loves his fellow citizens every day.

» RELATED: 12 times Rep. John Lewis broke the internet in 2016

“I am not sure a week goes by in the Capitol, where I often see Lewis, that I don't feel the inexpressible gratitude and debt that I owe—that we all owe—to this living legend. Look closely at his shoulders. They are worn from helping my generation, and generations yet unborn, stand higher and taller. And they are still laboring, still sturdy.”

In 2017, Booker joined Lewis and others in denouncing the nomination of Sessions, becoming the first sitting senator to testify against a fellow sitting senator nominated for a Cabinet position.

View Time’s full 100 most influential list.

RELATED VIDEO: John Lewis revisits Selma 50 years later

It was 50 years ago when a young John Lewis crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. Lewis talks with AJC about that historic day and how it changed the Civil Rights movement. (Video by Ryon Horne/AJC)

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