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John Lewis: Biography
Page Index:


Writings, Speeches, Awards, Tributes
Congressional Activities

Biographies - Sources in Print

"John Lewis."  in Hawkins, Walter L. African American Biographies:  Profiles of 558 Current Men and Women.  Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, 1992,  pp. 282-283. (Founders, Reference E185.96 H38 1992).

"John Lewis" in Hornsby, Jr. Alton and Deborah Gillian Straub, editors.  African American Chronology,  V.2.  1973-1993.  Detroit: Gale Research, 1993, pp. 200-201.   (Founders, Reference E185 H62 1994 v.2)

Salzman, Jack, et al. "Civil Rights Movement."  Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History,  V.2.  New York:  MacMillian Library Reference USA, 1996, pp. 563-569. (Founders, Reference E185 E54 1996)

_____. "Lewis, John."  Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History,  V. 3. New York:  MacMillian Library Reference USA, 1996,  pp. 1608-1609.  (Founders, Reference E185 E54 1996)

"John Lewis" in Phelps, Shirelle, editor.  Contemporary Black Biography, V.2.   Detroit: Gale Research, 1998,  pp. 137-139.  (Founders, Reference E185.96 C66)

"John R. Lewis"  in Smith, Jessie Carney, editor.  Notable Black American Men.  Detroit:  Gale, 1998, pp. 718-720.  (Founders, Ready Reference)

In Black and White.  Spradling, Mary Mace, editor.  V. 1.  Detroit: Gale Research, 1980.  (Founders, Reference E185.96 I52)

Black Collegian, March/April, 1979, pp. 148-152+.
Detroit Free Press, August 27, 1972, p A-15.
Ebony, March, 1976, p. 37.
Ebony, October, 1971, p. 51.
Ebony, July, 1965,, p. 151+.
Ebony, June, 1965, pp. 165-172.
I Have a Dream, Emma G. Sterne, pp. 199-219.
Mind to Stay Here, John Egerton, pp. 51-69.
Negro Almanac, 1976, p. 228.
Negro Digest, December, 1963, pp. 78-87.
Negro Protest Thought,  Francis Broderick, p. 313+.
New York Times, August 10, 1964, p. C-16.
Pittsburg Courier, December 3, 1977, p. 2.
Sepia, September, 1979, p. 33.
Voice of Black America,
Philip S. Foner, p. 975.

Biographies Online

Congressman John Lewis: Congressional Biography
A Congressional biography outlining Congressman John Lewis' early life, education,  commitment to the civil rights movement, and his election to Congress.

John Lewis:  An Alabama Boyhood
Relates Lewis' early life as the son of a sharecropper near Montgomery, Alabama.

John Lewis:  Civil Rights
A short John Lewis Biography relating some of the highlights of his civil rights history.

Sweet Auburn Hall of Fame

Writings, Speeches, Awards, Tributes


Lewis, John and  Michael D'Orso.  Walking With the Wind:  A Memoir of The Movement.  NY:  Simon & Schuster, 1998.  (Auxiliary Collection, Circ. Desk E840.8L43A3 1998).


Civil Rights Pioneer and Georgia Congressman John Lewis to Give Keynote Speech...
Keynote speaker at the Action for Boston, Massachusetts Community Development Dinner.  This committee has been in existence for thirty-nine years.

Congressman and Civil Rights Activist John Lewis to Give Talk Tomorrow
"History professor Allison Dorsey said that SNCC was a pivotal group in the Civil Rights Movement...more than the Black Panthers or the Young Lords ... was the group that made the most substantial permanent political changes...often serving at the forefront of the political battle on the streets."

Congressman John Lewis to deliver Wallenberg Lecture
John Lewis' address at the March on Washington

John Lewis Urges Students to Make Civil Rights a Practical Reality
Rep. John Lewis urges students and professors at the Georgetown Law Center to make civil rights a practical reality.

Lewis Requests Apology for Slavery
"Slavery, even 150 years after its abolishment, still has a connection to today's race problems."

Congressman John Lewis, Civil Rights Leader, Keynotes...
A discussion of Lewis' role in voter registration drives, his role as an organizer of the Freedom Rides, and as an organizer of the sit-ins in Nashville, while a student at Fisk University.

Keynote Speaker, Congressman John Lewis
The speech Congressman John Lewis gave before Attorney General Janet Reno which honored the work of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department.

Original Text of Speech to Be Delivered at the Lincoln Memorial by John Lewis

Rep. John Lewis to Discuss His Book on the Civil Rights Movement...
A review of Lewis' civil rights career and discuss his book "Walking with the Wind:  A Memoir of the Movement."

Rep. John Lewis To Speak on Civil Rights at Historic Institute
Rep. John Lewis will speak as the keynote speaker for the 2002  NDH Summer Institute in Atlanta, Georgia.  The theme this year is "We shall Overcome :  100 Years of the Civil Rights Movement."

The March on Washington

March on Washington Speech 
    Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) "delivered the most fiery speech of the day" at the March on Washington.

Commentary on the March on Washington Speech
    John Lewis gave the most controversial speech at the March on Washington.

Criticism on Lewis' proposed speech
    "Even with modifications, Lewis' speech was the most hard-hitting of the day...."

Excerpts of Lewis' speech
    Excerpts from Lewis' powerful speech.  "Lewis was angry at the administration's policy of minimum interference and allowing the nation to focus attention away from the violence and crimes against human rights going on in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and the rest of the South.   With this in mind, John Lewis took the stand and gave his speech to crowd."

The March on Washington--People and Events
    A good overview of the major players and events of the March on Washington.


An Interview with Congressman John Lewis
Scholastic News published an article titled " Meet a Civil Rights Leader" in which he was asked "We have many laws that guarantee civil rights for everyone.  But what is the reality for African-Americans?

Interview With Congressman John Lewis
While talking to a reporter about the Baby Boom generation, Congressman Lewis gives his view on the responsibilities of the boomers today and the part they played during the sixties and whether or not they have held on to the vision.

John Lewis:  "I Thought I Was Going to Die"

John Lewis:  Remembering Bloody Sunday
"A moment frozen in time."  Photo shows young Lewis as he is" being beaten
senseless by club wielding troopers at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama." 

Keeping the Faith:  Civil Right and the Baby Boom... 
Life Interview:  Rep. John Lewis

Transcript from January 14, 1999:  MLK's Legacy with Congressman John Lewis (D-GA).
Lewis recounts his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement.  Explains his relationship to MLK.

Online Articles

AARP - My Generation (Three part article)
The character and humility of John Lewis are disclosed in this article comparing events of the sixties and his thoughts on the events of September 11, 2001.

AARP - My Generation
A revealing article on some of the cruel hardships John Lewis endured as a civil rights worker.  It also recalls how the ABC network interrupted its coverage of "Judgment at Nuremburg" to  "air film of Lewis and his companions being bludgeoned, gassed and charged by police on horseback."

AARP - My Generation
Mentions how Lewis was forced out of the SNCC chairmanship by Stokely Carmichael and how the press compared him to Julian Bond in the 1986 race for the U.S. House of Representatives.
John Lewis on Civil Rights

"Issues 2000.  Every Political Leader on Every Issue." This article reveals John Lewis' voting record on civil rights.

Rep. John Lewis to Discuss his Book on the Civil Rights Movement...
Lewis discusses his book in the Thomas Jefferson Building at the Library of Congress.

U.S. Rep. John Lewis was at Forefront of Civil Rights Movement
A summary of Lewis' civil rights activities.  Refers to  him as "one of the 'Big Six' leaders of the movement."

Congressional Activities

A Major Player in the Civil rights Movement

Co-Sponsor of H.R. 778
A review of the bills authored by John Lewis.  John Lewis was one of the co-sponsors of H.R. 778 in the U.S. House of Representatives.  This bill is the House companion of the Smith-Feinstein Bill.. The purpose of the Smith-Feinstein Bill is to "provide incentives to introduce new technologies to reduce energy consumption in buildings."

Co-Sponsor of H.R. 778
John Lewis was a co-sponsor of H.R.778, a bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide incentives to introduce new technologies to reduce consumption in buildings.

Co-Sponsor of the nuclear Disarmament and Economic Conversion Act
John Lewis was a co-sponsor of Delegate Norton's Nuclear Disarmament and Economic Conversion Act."

Member of the Children Taskforce
John Lewis is a member of the Children Taskforce, a taskforce committed to improving the condition of children in America.

Debate against the Defense of Marriage Act
Excerpts from John Lewis' debate (July 11, 1996) denouncing the Defense of Marriage Act. 

Introduction of bill to rename the Justice Department Building
On June 25, 1999, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and three other congressmen introduced a bipartisan bill in the U.S. House of Representatives to rename the Justice Department building after Robert F. Kennedy.

Co-Sponsor of the Medicare Bill
Rep. John Lewis (D-GA)  is one of the 130 co-sponsors of the Medicare Bill (H.R. 2484) as of
July 11, 2002.

Voting Rights Act of 1965

Remembering the Voting Rights Act of 1965
John Lewis speaks before the House of Representatives on March 11, 2002 commemorating the 33rd anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 and John Lewis' role
Describes Lewis' role in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1965.

Voting Rights Act Implementation, Lyndon Johnson White House Central Files, 1965

Lewis, John. "Letter to Lyndon Baines Johnson". August 6, 1965.
A letter regarding the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the challenge of the right of the Mississippi delegation to be seated in the House of Representatives.  Retrieved September 11, 2002 from LexisNexis™ database (LexisNexis™ Primary Sources in African American History) on the World Wide Web:

White, Lee C.. "Letter to John Lewis". August 9, 1965.
Regarding the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the challenge of the right of the Mississippi delegation to be seated in the House of Representatives.  Retrieved September 11, 2002 from LexisNexis™ database (LexisNexis™ Primary Sources in African American History) on the World Wide Web.

Databases with Pertinent Information

America History and Life, ABC-CLIO

Ling, Peter. Racism for lunch History Today [Great Britain] 2000 50(2):  36-38. Explores changes in the civil rights movement as new leaders, like Lewis, employed public demonstrations.

Pauley, Garth E. John Lewis’ “Serious revolution”: rhetoric, resistance, and revision at the March on Washington Quarterly Journal of Speech 1998 84(3): 320-340. Discussion of Lewis's 1963 speech and the surrounding controversy. Mills, Nicolaus. Heard and Unheard Speeches: what really happened at the March on Washington? Dissent 1988 35(3): 285-291. Discusses Lewis' 1963 March on Washington speech.  

THE NASHVILLE SIT-INS: NONVIOLENCE EMERGES. Southern Exposure 1981 9(1): 30-32. Background to students' sit-ins in Nashville, Tennessee in 1960 and interviews John Lewis.  

Allen, Archie E. “John Lewis: keeper of the dream” New South 1971 26(2): 15-25. Examines the Civil Rights experiences of John Lewis. 

Ethnic NewsWatch (ProQuest)  

“Lessons in tolerance: Rep. John Lewis…”  The Jewish Week, July 10, 1998  “Dateline U.S.A.: dialogue with John Lewis”  Emerge, August 31, 1993  “John Lewis:5th Congressional District Georgia”  Portland Skanner, February 25, 1987

“John Lewis resigns VEP post”  Tri-State Defender, January 1, 1977 Interview

The last integrationist: John Lewis's American Odyssey.” (Interview) Sean Wilentz. The New Republic July 1, 1996 v215 n1 p19(7). Retrieved September 11, 2002 from Expanded Academic ASAP Database (Gale Group Databases) on the World Wide Web:http://www.infotrac.galegroup.com


AC Delco Honors Congressman and Civil Rights Pioneer John Lewis
Congressman John Lewis Lauded for Protecting and Restoring the Nation's 
Natural Heritage.

Profile in Courage Award for Lifetime Achievement
"I cannot forget those whose lives were cut short:  the three civil rights workers in Mississippi:  Mickey Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andy Goodman.  President Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers.  So many lives were cut short.  We must remember them.  We are indebted to them."

Representative Lewis receives Ansel Adams Award

Congressman John Lewis has worked on the House Interior Committee since coming to Congress fourteen years ago.  He is receiving this award from the  Wilderness Society for his commitment to the environment by sponsoring legislation that is environmentally friendly and working to protect the nation's natural heritage.

UAlbany to Award Honorary Degree to Congressman, Civil Rights Activist, John Lewis
Congressman to receive the "highest honor" bestowed by the State University of New York system, the Doctor of Laws degree.

William O. Douglas Award Dinner

Useful Links
The Big Six
Bibliography of Works by or about Civil Rights Leaders

Histories of SNCC and other Organizations

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