WASHINGTON — Representative John Lewis, a 78-year-old Georgia Democrat who played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement, was released Sunday from a hospital where he was taken a day before after suffering a medical emergency.
Lewis fell ill on a plane while flying home to Atlanta on Saturday, WSB-TV reported. He had been expected at an event there that afternoon.
In a statement to the TV station, the representative’s office described his hospital stay as ‘‘routine observation’’ but released no details about what sent him there.
On Sunday, Lewis’s spokeswoman, Brenda Jones, said medical tests were conducted and doctors gave Lewis a ‘‘clean bill of health.’’ The representative thanked everyone for their concern, Jones said.
Lewis’s political legacy dates to the era of racial segregation, when ‘‘he was arrested, brutally beaten, and continually bore witness to death in the pursuit of equality under the law for African-Americans,’’ as Jonathan Capehart wrote for The Washington Post.
The son of black sharecroppers, he became one of the original Freedom Riders fighting for racial integration.
He spoke at the March on Washington as a young man in 1963 and marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965 in Selma, Ala.
Lewis first won office in 1986, representing Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District.