Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.) became part of the civil-rights movement while he was a teenager. From 1963 to 1966, he chaired the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. And he became a close associate of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Lewis has been a congressman since 1987.
As the first African-American attorney in Selma, Ala., J.L. Chestnut Jr. campaigned to free jailed Civil Rights activists in the 1960s — an effort he detailed in his autobiography, Black In Selma. Chestnut died of kidney failure on Sept. 30; he was 77.