John Lewis Cause of Death: Congressman Died of Pancreatic Cancer, Not COVID-19

John Lewis

Getty U.S. Representative John Lewis attends the 91st Annual Academy Awards in 2019.

John Lewis’ cause of death was pancreatic cancer, according to his family. His family has made no mention of coronavirus; there’s no reason to believe that coronavirus played a factor in his death.

Lewis was 80 years old at the time of his death. Here is the statement his family gave on his passing:

“It is with inconsolable grief and enduring sadness that we announce the passing of U.S. Rep. John Lewis. He was honored and respected as the conscience of the US Congress and an icon of American history, but we knew him as a loving father and brother. He was a stalwart champion in the on-going struggle to demand respect for the dignity and worth of every human being. He dedicated his entire life to non-violent activism and was an outspoken advocate in the struggle for equal justice in America. He will be deeply missed.”

Here’s what you need to know:


Lewis Was Diagnosed With Stage IV Cancer in December; He Said He Was ‘Hopeful’ in June

Lewis waged a largely public battle with cancer since he was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer in December. When he first announced his illness, he gave a statement which read in part, “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.”

Lewis was in his 17th term in Congress at the time. The lifelong Congressman and civil rights leader spoke candidly about his treatment with CBS’ Gayle King in June, indicating that he had reason to be optimistic about recovery.

He said in part, “I have a wonderful doctor and nurse, and everybody taking good care of me. I’m very hopeful and very optimistic.”


Lewis Was Known as ‘The Conscience of Congress’ by His Political Colleagues

Rep. John Lewis, Giant Of The Civil Rights Movement, Dies At 80 | TODAYRep. John Lewis, a civil rights leader and longtime member of Congress, has died at age 80 after a battle with cancer. NBC’s Geoff Bennett looks back at his life on Weekend TODAY. » Subscribe to TODAY: on.today.com/SubscribeToTODAY » Watch the latest from TODAY: bit.ly/LatestTODAY About: TODAY brings you the latest headlines and expert tips…2020-07-18T12:05:16Z

Lewis, a longtime civil rights leader who first became famous for his role in the famous march in Selma, Alabama, was known as the “conscience of Congress” by his colleagues, according to his obituary in The New York Times.  In recent months, Lewis applaud the widespread peaceful protests that erupted after George Floyd’s death.

He said in one interview that watching the video of Floyd’s death “was so painful, it made me cry.” He went on, “People now understand what the struggle was all about. It’s another step down a very, very long road toward freedom, justice for all humankind.”

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