Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis to be released from hospital after scare

He is scheduled to be released Sunday following an overnight stay after falling ill on a flight to Atlanta.

Georgia Rep. John Lewis (Photo by Riccardo S. Savi/Getty Images)

Longtime Georgia Democrat U.S. Rep. John Lewis, 78, is scheduled to be released Sunday after a brief hospital stay in metro Atlanta, according to CNN.

The congressman’s spokeswoman, Brenda Jones, told the cable news outlet that he is under routine observation but did not disclose the nature of the illness or where he was hospitalized. Lewis reportedly fell ill Saturday aboard a flight to Atlanta, where he was slated to attend an afternoon event.

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Since he was first elected in 1986, Lewis has represented Georgia’s 5th District, which comprises much of Atlanta. He played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement and in 1965 marched on Selma, Ala., with Dr. Martin Luther King.  Images of what became known as “Bloody Sunday,” showed Lewis being assaulted by heavily armed state troopers, propelling support for the Voting Rights Act. Lyndon B. Johnson signed the measure into law a few months later.

In 2011, President Barack Obama gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Scores of well-wishers took to social media to wish him a speedy recovery.

Get well soon, Rep. John Lewis!

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