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US Lost two Founders of Modern America; Great Figures of American Civil Right Movement in One Day


US Lost two Founders of Modern America; Great Figures of American Civil Right Movement in One DayUS Lost two Founders of Modern America; Great Figures of American Civil Right Movement in One Day
President Barack Obama honoring John Lewis and Vivian 

US has lost two adorable figures of the American civil rights movement died Friday, a major loss for a nation still grappling with protests and demands for racial equality decades later.

John Robert Lewis died at age 80 after a battle with cancer. Rev. Cordy Tindell "C.T." Vivian died at age 95 of natural causes. They died a day before the birthday of the late Nelson Mandela -- another renown champion of racial equality.

Both men were the epitome of "good trouble" -- Lewis' favorite saying and approach to confronting injustices without violence. They worked alongside the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the forefront of the historic struggle for racial justices in the 1960s.

Rep. John Lewis

Rep. John Lewis, the sharecroppers' son who became a giant of the civil rights movement, died Friday after a months long battle with cancer, his family said.

The longtime Georgia congressman, an advocate of nonviolent protest who had his skull fractured by Alabama state troopers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, was the last surviving speaker from 1963's March on Washington.


Lewis announced in late December that he was undergoing treatment for stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

"I have been in some kind of fight — for freedom, equality, basic human rights — for nearly my entire life. I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now," he said in a statement at the time.

"He loved this country so much that he risked his life and his blood so that it might live up to its promise," former President Barack Obama said in paying tribute to a man he called a personal hero. "And through the decades, he not only gave all of himself to the cause of freedom and justice, but inspired generations that followed to try to live up to his example."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., described Lewis as "one of the greatest heroes of American history."

"John Lewis was a titan of the civil rights movement whose goodness, faith and bravery transformed our nation — from the determination with which he met discrimination at lunch counters and on Freedom Rides, to the courage he showed as a young man facing down violence and death on Edmund Pettus Bridge, to the moral leadership he brought to the Congress for more than 30 years," the speaker said in a statement.

"He was honored and respected as the conscience of the U.S. Congress and an icon of American history, but we knew him as a loving father and brother," his family said in a statement Friday night. "He was a stalwart champion in the ongoing struggle to demand respect for the dignity and worth of every human being. He dedicated his entire life to nonviolent activism and was an outspoken advocate in the struggle for equal justice in America. He will be deeply missed."

Lewis had served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1987, where he was sometimes referred to as the "conscience of Congress." He often voted and spoke out against U.S. military interventions, including the Iraq War.

Rev. C.T. Vivian

 The Rev. C.T. Vivian, a civil rights veteran who worked alongside the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and served as head of the organization co-founded by the civil rights icon, has died.

Vivian died at home in Atlanta of natural causes Friday morning, his friend and business partner Don Rivers confirmed to The Associated Press. Vivian was 95.



His civil rights work stretched back more than six decades, to his first sit-in demonstrations in the 1940s in Peoria, Ill. He met King soon after the budding civil rights leader’s victory in the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott. Vivian became an active member of what would become the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

“He has always been one of the people who had the most insight, wisdom, integrity and dedication,” said Andrew Young, who also worked alongside King.

President Barack Obama honored Vivian the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013. The reverend had continued to advocate for justice and equality in recent years.

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