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Lillian Lewis, Wife of Rep. John Lewis, Passes

Yesterday Congressman John Lewis' office announced that Lillian Miles Lewis, the congressman's wife of more than 40 years, passed away.

John and Lillian met in 1967 at a New Year's Eve party and were married one year later.

In his memoir, "Walking With the Wind," Lewis recalled how his wife helped him decide to run for Congress and became his chief adviser.

"She had always been very involved in politics, much more than I. She had been a delegate (supporting Shirley Chisholm) to the Democratic National Convention in '72, and she was constantly active in a variety of local circles and organizations. She was outgoing, involved, intelligent and great in front of an audience — she could make a speech. 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," Lewis wrote.

The congressman's "devoted wife" died in Atlanta, according to the statement from his office. The statement did not provide any more information, saying only that "more information regarding arrangements will be released as it is available."

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.

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."

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