Menendez on John Lewis: ‘I know I’m a better person & representative for NJ because of him’


U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) is weighing in on the passing of civil rights leader and longtime U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), calling him a voice for the voiceless who helped shape his career in Congress.

Civil rights icon and U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA). Photo via

“Today is a sad day for America. John Lewis – often referred to as the Conscience of Congress – was an extraordinary public servant with a heart full of love and compassion for others,” Menendez said in a statement.

“John’s lifetime of advocacy for racial, social and economic justice paved the way for the tremendous progress our country made in the past 60 years. From his work as a young activist to his service as a Congressman, John never forgot the people he was fighting for or the injustices he was trying to correct.”

Lewis, 80, passed last night due to stage IV pancreatic cancer.

He leaves behind a long legacy that includes civil rights advocacy along the likes of Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1970s and a nearly 34-year career as a congressman for Georgia’s 5th District.

“John was a trailblazer who paved the way for Black Americans and other minority groups in this country. When they felt voiceless, he was their voice and champion. And I know if it wasn’t for his leadership and unwillingness to back down from a fight, I wouldn’t be a U.S. Senator today,” added Menendez.

“It was a true honor to work alongside him for the past 27 years that I’ve been in Congress and I know I’m a better person and representative for New Jersey because of him. And there’s no doubt, the world is a better place because of the light he shone on others.”