Coretta Scott King dies at 78

Feb. 1, 2006, midnight | By Lynda Seumo | 16 years, 3 months ago

King leaves behind a legacy of working for civil rights

This is not original reporting. All information has been compiled from The Washington Post news article "First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement Remembered" by Hamil R. Harris and Darryl Fears. Silver Chips Online posts these stories to provide students with a forum for discussion.

Coretta Scott King, who for three decades stood in the place of her assassinated husband Martin Luther King, Jr. as a voice of racial justice, passed away Monday night, her family announced Tuesday.

King died at a clinic in Mexico. U.S. officials said they were working with the family to make arrangements for King's body to be returned to the United States. Funeral arrangements were not immediately announced, but flags in Georgia, where King lived, were flown at half-staff in her memory.

King had suffered a stroke in August but had made a brief public appearance on television on Jan. 16 during a celebration of Martin Luther King Day, according to The Post's article.

Universally known as the first lady of the civil rights movement, King occupied a unique place in American society as the gentle and dignified heiress to the vast and fiery legacy left by her martyred husband. "She was truly the first lady of the human rights movement," said Al Sharpton in a statement released to the wire services. "For those of us that were too young to get to know Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. very well, we got to know Coretta Scott King as a compassionate, caring, yet firm matriarch of the movement for justice."

"It's a bleak morning for me and for many people, and yet it's a great morning because we have a chance to look at her and see what she did and who she was," poet Maya Angelou said on ABC's "Good Morning America."

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