The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has celebrated the life and legacy of Rep. John Lewis, who died in 2020 at age 80.
Described by the USPS as a U.S. “hero and key figure in some of the most pivotal moments” of that country’s civil rights movement, Lewis’ portrait graces a vertical Forever stamp issued on July 21.
“Look carefully at how the shadow falls on the right side of his face, illuminating the left side, in a way that seems to take the viewer from darkness into the light,” said Ronald Stroman, a member of the USPS board of governors and dedicating official for the stamp, who called the issue “a fitting tribute to a man who sought to awaken the conscience of a country.”
“The postal service is proud to celebrate Lewis, a national treasure, and to honour his legacy with the tribute of this Forever stamp that is as beautiful visually as was the spirit of the man whose image it bears.”
The stamp features a photograph of Lewis taken by Marco Grob for the Aug. 26, 2013, issue of Time magazine. Lewis’s name is at the bottom of the stamp with “USA” and “Forever” appearing in the top-left corner.
Derry Noyes, a USPS art director, designed the issue, which is available in panes of 15 stamps.
U.S. Forever stamps will always equal the value of that country’s current first-class one-ounce mail price.
“As an avid collector, stamps were important to Congressman John Lewis who always made sure he purchased stamps on their first day of issue,” said Michael Collins, who chairs the board of the John and Lillian Miles Lewis Foundation. “We are deeply grateful to the United States Postal Service for recognizing the congressman with this official Forever stamp, a testament to the indomitable spirit and unwavering commitment of a true American hero. The congressman was a treasured civil rights icon and a timeless advocate for justice, equality and human rights. This commemorative stamp serves as a timeless reminder of his remarkable legacy and the enduring impact of his lifelong dedication to the betterment of our society. May it inspire and encourage all Americans to continue the necessary work and the ‘good trouble’ of building a more just and inclusive nation.”