01.31.06 Coretta Scott King
Died At The Age of 78
04.27.27 - 01.31.06 = 6 (335)
Coretta Scott King, 78,
Widow of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dies
Coretta Scott King, known first as the wife of the Rev.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. died early today at Santa
Monica Hospital, in Baja California, Mexico, near San
Diego. She was 78. Mrs. King was admitted to the
hospital last Thursday, said her sister, Edythe Scott
Bagley. She died about 1 a.m., said Lorena Blanco, a
spokeswoman for the United States consulate in Tijuana.
Black History Moth February 2006
Oprah 02.06.06 - Coretta
Clinton carter 02.07.06 -Coretta
Coretta Scott King - Wikipedia
Widow of civil rights leader called 'matriarch
of the movement'
Tuesday, January 31, 2006; Posted: 2:21 p.m. EST
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Coretta Scott King, the widow of slain civil
rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., died
Monday night in Baja California, Mexico, her
sister told CNN.
Mrs. King, 78, suffered a stroke and a mild
heart attack last August. As part of her
rehabilitation, she was receiving further
medical treatment at Hospital Santa Monica, a
holistic health center, when she died, her
sister Edythe Scott Bagley told CNN.
President Bush and the
first lady were "deeply saddened" to hear about Mrs.
King's death, White House spokesman Scott McClellan told
"Mrs. King was a remarkable and courageous woman and a
great civil rights leader," the president said in a
"Laura and I were fortunate to have known Mrs. King, and
we will always treasure the time we spent with her,"
Bush said. "We send our condolences and prayers to the
entire King family."
"This is a very sad hour," U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a
Democrat from Georgia, told CNN on Tuesday.
"She was the glue. Long before she met and married
Martin Luther King Jr. she was an activist," he said.
(Watch how she balanced motherhood and the movement --
"She would always admonish us that ... one of the ways
you bring about change is, you must change yourself so
that you're prepared to lead people in the direction
they should go. If your emotions are as bad as those
you're fighting, even if your cause is just, you
disqualify yourself from being effective," the Rev. Al
Sharpton told CNN on Tuesday.
The Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, a family friend, described
her as a "matriarch of the movement, a patriot of all
that America stands for," in an interview with CNN
affiliate WSB-TV in Atlanta.
Tuesday, the flag at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center
for Nonviolent Social Change, which Mrs. King founded in
Atlanta as a memorial to her husband's work and dream
after his assassination, was flying at half-staff.
Mourners stopped at the center to pay their respects,
many of them visibly upset. Some carried flowers.
"We appreciate the prayers and condolences from people
across the country," her family said in a statement.
Funeral arrangements will be announced once plans are
finalized, the statement said.
Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue has ordered flags at all state
buildings to be flown at half-staff until Mrs. King's
funeral. He also has offered to have her body lie in
state at the capitol building rotunda in Atlanta, the
governor's spokeswoman Heather Hedrick told CNN.
The family has not yet responded to that offer, Hedrick
Mrs. King's last public appearance came January 14 at a
Salute to Greatness dinner as part of the Martin Luther
King Day celebrations in Atlanta.
She received a standing ovation and, supported on the
arms of her children, waved to the crowd.
She did not speak at the event and was in a wheelchair.
It had been more than 20 years since she oversaw the
first legal holiday in honor of her husband, a holiday
that has come to be celebrated in some form in over 100
countries, according to her biography on The King Center
'She stood for peace'
Born in Marion, Alabama, on April 27, 1927, Coretta
Scott graduated as valedictorian of her high school
class and attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs,
Ohio. She received a B.A. in music and education and
then studied concert singing at the New England
Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. She got
a degree in voice and violin, according to her
While there, she met a theology student from Atlanta,
Martin Luther King Jr., who was pursuing a doctorate at
Boston University. They married on June 18, 1953, in her
hometown of Marion.
As the young pastor began his civil rights work in
Montgomery, Alabama, Coretta Scott King worked closely
with him, organizing marches and sit-ins at segregated
restaurants while raising their four children: Yolanda
Denise, Martin Luther III, Dexter Scott and Bernice
Mrs. King performed in "Freedom Concerts," singing and
reading poetry to raise money for the Southern Christian
Leadership Conference, the organization which Dr. King
led as its first president.
The family endured the beating, stabbing and jailing of
the civil rights leader, and their house was bombed.
When James Earl Ray killed her husband in Memphis in
1968, just prior to a planned march, Mrs. King organized
his funeral, then "went to Memphis and finished the
march," the Rev. Jesse Jackson said Tuesday.
"She was a staunch freedom fighter," he added.
Mrs. King turned her grief into the nurturing of her
husband's legacy. The year her husband was killed, she
established The King Center. A year later, she published
her memoir, "My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr."
She spoke out "on behalf of racial and economic justice,
women's and children's rights, gay and lesbian dignity,
religious freedom, the needs of the poor and homeless,
full employment, health care, educational opportunities,
nuclear disarmament and ecological sanity," according to
Mrs. King and three of her children were even arrested
in 1985 while protesting apartheid at the South African
embassy in Washington, according to her official
"I believe what Coretta Scott King would want us to do
is continue this march toward progress when it comes to
disability rights, women's rights, civil rights -- and
not retreat from it," said Sen. Ted Kennedy, a Democrat
"She wore her grief with dignity," said the Rev. Joseph
Lowery, former president of the SCLC, who worked on
civil rights with Dr. King in the 1950's. "She moved
quietly but forcefully into the fray. She stood for
peace in the midst of turmoil."