1. Born in Troy, Alabama, the third son of sharecroppers Willie Mae and Eddie Lewis.
2. Educated at the Pike County Training High School, Brundidge, Alabama, and also American Baptist Theological Seminary and at Fisk University, both in Nashville, Tennessee, where he became a leader in the Nashville sit-ins.
3. Instrumental in organizing student sit-ins, bus boycotts and nonviolent protests in the fight for voter and racial equality.
4. Invited to attend nonviolence workshops held in the basement of Clark Memorial United Methodist Church by the Rev. James Lawson and Rev. Kelly.
5. Suffered a skull fracture during the march in Selma, Alabama, more than a half-century ago and has devoted his life to promoting equal rights for African-Americans.
6. Lewis became one of the 13 original Freedom Riders. There were seven whites and six blacks who were determined to ride from Washington, D.C., to New Orleans in an integrated fashion.
7. Despite more than 40 arrests, physical attacks and serious injuries, Lewis remained a devoted advocate of the philosophy of nonviolence.
8. Elected by voters from Georgia’s 5th Congressional District. Lewis was first elected to the U.S. House in 1986.
9. Arrested and jailed many times in the struggle to desegregate the downtown area of the city. Afterwards, he participated in the Freedom Rides sponsored by the Congress of Racial Equality or CORE, led by James Farmer, and ultimately became a national leader in the struggle for civil rights and respect for human dignity.
10. Youngest of the Big Six civil rights leaders as chairman of SNCC from 1963 to 1966, some of the most tumultuous years of the Civil Rights Movement.
11. During his tenure, SNCC opened Freedom Schools, launched the Mississippi Freedom Summer, and organized some of the voter registration efforts that led to the pivotal Selma to Montgomery marches.
12. Recipient of numerous awards from eminent national and international institutions, including the highest civilian honor granted by President Barack Obama, the Medal of Freedom, the Lincoln Medal from the historic Ford’s Theatre, the Golden Plate Award given by the Academy of Excellence, the Preservation Hero award given by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Capital Award of the National Council of La Raza, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Non-Violent Peace Prize, and numerous others.