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John Lewis honored at Morehouse ceremony as stamp goes on sale

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John Lewis honored at Morehouse ceremony as stamp goes on sale

A new postal stamp featuring late Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis is unveiled at a ceremony at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga. on Friday, July 21, 2023. (Matthew Pearson/WABE)

By  | WABE

A U.S. Postal Service stamp honoring late Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis went on sale Friday.

The issue date was marked with a ceremony at Morehouse College.

Michael Collins, Lewis’ former congressional chief of staff, spoke about Lewis’ passion for stamps.

“Whenever a new forever stamp came out, he was like a kid in a candy store, purchasing more than he could ever use. There were so many stamps. He loved too many to count. Generations of his staff in both the district and DC offices could tell you about the countless trips to every post office. From Atlanta to the house office building to buy stamps and post his mail,” Collins said.

A young John Lewis first reached out to Dr. Martin Luther King Junior by letter, which led to them meeting.

John Miles-Lewis considers his father being honored with a stamp as a full circle moment.

“From the son of sharecroppers to being a civil rights revolutionary, to be considered the conscience of the Congress. That’s a journey that started with an envelope, a letter and a stamp,” he said.

The Lewis stamp features a 2013 photo taken by Marco Grob for Time Magazine.

The stamp is considered a standard Forever Stamp, which is currently 66 cents each.

Ron Stroman, a member of the USPS Board of Governors, noted that very few get the honor of being on a stamp.

“It is a rare honor. We get maybe 25 to 30 people per year on a stamp out of thousands and thousands of applications,” he said. “So to be able to rise to the top, to be selected to be on a stamp is a very rare honor in the Postal Service.”

Lewis served Georgia in Congress for more than 30 years. He died in July 2020 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Decaturish media partner WABE News provided this story.