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.
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.
“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.”
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.
“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.
RELATED VIDEO: John Lewis revisits Selma 50 years later
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.