Former President Barack Obama on Saturday paid tribute to Rep. John Lewis and his “enormous impact” on America’s history, saying that his election as the first Black president was possible because of the sacrifices Lewis made.
“I first met John when I was in law school, and I told him then that he was one of my heroes. Years later, when I was elected a U.S. Senator, I told him that I stood on his shoulders,” Obama wrote in a statement following Lewis’ death. “When I was elected President of the United States, I hugged him on the inauguration stand before I was sworn in and told him I was only there because of the sacrifices he made.”
Obama said Lewis “never stopped providing wisdom and encouragement to me” and former first lady Michelle, and their family. “We will miss him dearly,” he said.