Wife of Rep. John Lewis dies

December 31, 2012

The wife of Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) has died, his office announced.

Lillian Miles Lewis, the “devoted wife” of the congressman, died in Atlanta, according to a statement issued by his office. The statement did not provide any more information. Aides said Lewis was flying home to Atlanta Monday afternoon to be with his family.

The couple was married for 44 years and had one son, John Miles.

In his memoirs, John Lewis credited his wife with helping launch his political career, which began with an unsuccessful bid for Congress in 1977.

“She was outgoing, involved, intelligent and great in front of an audience — she could make a speech,” Lewis wrote. “She also knew how to organize, how to chair a meeting, the nitty-gritty stuff. When she finally said, ‘Let’s do it. Let’s go for it,’ that was enough. We were in.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) used Twitter to convey her condolences, calling Lillian Lewis “a smart and caring woman” and “a champion for justice.”

Ed O’Keefe is a congressional reporter with The Washington Post and covered the 2008 and 2012 presidential and congressional elections.
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Ed O'Keefe | December 20, 2012