Rep. John Lewis. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Axios managing editor David Nather remembers interviewing Rep. John Lewis for a CQ profile in 2002:

I was struck by something you don't always hear in the tributes. He said he was shy as a boy, but put his inhibitions aside to join the civil rights movement — figuring that if others were putting themselves on the line, he should too.

  • He said he was still shy, but that his political life drew him out. "I think the movement liberated me," he said at the time, "and I think being in Congress liberated me more."

My thought bubble: He struck me as dignified, gentle and soft-spoken — not at all what you'd expect from the thundering presence you saw in his speeches.

  • He gave you his full, undivided attention. And when he thanked you for your time, he seemed sincere and humble about it, even though you knew how many demands he actually had on his own time.

The bottom line: There aren't a lot of genuine heroes in the crises we're facing now. That's probably making the grief over his passing even more intense.

  • He left some awfully big shoes to fill.

Go deeper

Joe Biden picks Kamala Harris as running mate

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Joe Biden announced Tuesday that he has chosen Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) as his running mate — the first Black woman to be named to a major-party U.S. presidential ticket, and potentially the first woman vice president if Biden defeats President Trump.

The big picture: Harris was probably the safest choice Biden could have made among his running mate finalists. She has a national profile and experience with elected office, was vetted and tested in the Democratic presidential primaries and can boost Biden's fundraising.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 20,158,258 — Total deaths: 738,063 — Total recoveries: 12,388,686Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 5,116,791 — Total deaths: 164,137 — Total recoveries: 1,670,755 — Total tests: 62,513,174Map.
  3. States: Florida reports another daily record for deaths State testing plans fall short of demand.
  4. Axios-Ipsos poll: 1 in 2 has a personal connection to COVID-19.
  5. Business: Moderna reveals it may not hold patent rights for vaccine.
  6. 🏈 Sports: Big Ten scraps fall football season due to coronavirus.

Big Ten postpones fall sports due to coronavirus

Photo: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Big Ten announced Tuesday that it has voted to postpone its 2020 fall sports season, including football, due to risks posed by the coronavirus pandemic, hoping instead to play in the spring.

Why it matters: The move from one of the most prominent conferences in college sports will almost certainly prompt other Power Five leagues to follow suit.