Coretta Scott King Dies at Age 78

Coretta Scott King, known to many as the first lady of the civil rights movement, has died at age 78. The widow of Martin Luther King Jr., King became the symbol of the movement after his assassination in 1968. She led the fight to have her husband's birthday made a national holiday.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

I'm Melissa Block. And we begin this hour by remembering Coretta Scott King, who has died at the age of 78. She had suffered a serious stroke and heart attack last year. She died in Mexico, where she was considering alternative treatment for ovarian cancer.

The widow of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. was close by his side during key moments of the civil rights struggle. You can see her in photos, clutching her husband's hand in the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965. Or at his side in Oslo, when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. And at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, for her husband's funeral service in 1968, her head held high in a black veil, and their youngest child, Bernice, asleep on her lap. Senator Barack Obama was among those paying tribute to Coretta Scott King today.

Senator BARACK OBAMA (Democrat, Illinois): With no time to even cry or mourn, to wallow in anger or vengeance, Coretta Scott King took to the streets just four days after the assassination and led 50,000 through the streets of Memphis in a march for the kind of justice that her husband had given his life for. She spent the rest of her time here marching for that same justice.

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