CORETTA SCOTT KING
Coretta Scott King (April 27, 1927 – January 30, 2006
Coretta Scott King, who turned a life shattered by her husband’s assassination into one devoted to enshrining his legacy of human rights and equality, has died.
She was 78.
Former Mayor Andrew Young said on The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Web site that Bernice King found her mother at about 1 a.m.
Markel Hutchins, a close family friend of the Kings, told The Associated Press he spoke early this morning with Bernice King, who confirmed her mother’s passing.
Young, who was a former civil rights activist and was close to the King family, told NBC’s "Today" show: "I understand that she was asleep last night and her daughter went in to wake her up and she was not able to and so she quietly slipped away. Her spirit will remain with us just as her husband’s has."
Efforts by The Associated Press to reach the family were unsuccessful. They did not immediately return phone calls, but flags at the King Center were lowered to half-staff Tuesday morning.
King suffered a serious stroke and heart attack in 2005.
She was a supportive lieutenant to her husband, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., during the most tumultuous days of the American civil rights movement. She had married him in 1953.
After her husband’s assassination in Memphis, Tenn., on April 4, 1968, she kept his dream alive while also raising their four children.
She worked to keep his ideology of equality for all people at the forefront of the nation’s agenda. She goaded and pulled for more than a decade to have her husband’s birthday observed as a national holiday, then watched with pride in 1983 as President Reagan signed the bill into law. The first federal holiday was celebrated in 1986.
King became a symbol, in her own right, of her husband’s struggle for peace and brotherhood, presiding with a quiet, steady, stoic presence over seminars and conferences on global issues.
"I’m more determined than ever that my husband’s dream will become a reality," King said soon after his slaying, a demonstration of the strong will that lay beneath the placid calm and dignity of her character.
She was devoted to her children and considered them her first responsibility. But she also wrote a book, "My Life With Martin Luther King Jr.," and, in 1969, founded the multimillion-dollar Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change.
MY TWO CENTS:
Mrs. King’s death leaves an ever deepening void in American leadership. If if were not for her, our generation would not know the name Martin Luther King, Jr., let alone be celebrated.
We remember her most as Martin Luther King’s widow, but we must not forget her quiet spirit and ambitious drive for change over the last 30 years. It was her strength and determination that saw the implentation of US national holiday in honor of her husband and the civil rights movement.
THANK YOU FOR KEEPING THE DREAM ALIVE…
I extend my condolences to her family and friends.