Dorothy Height, Civil Rights Hero, Has Died : The Two-Way Dorothy Irene Height, long-time civil rights activist, chair and president emerita of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and "godmother of the women's movement," died of natural causes at 3:41 am. Tuesday, April 20, at Howard University Ho...
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Dorothy Height, Civil Rights Hero, Has Died

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Dorothy Height, Civil Rights Hero, Has Died

Dorothy Height, Civil Rights Hero, Has Died

Height in June 2009. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) hide caption

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Height in June 2009. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Breaking news from Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C.:

Dorothy Irene Height, long-time civil rights activist, chair and president emerita of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and "godmother of the women's movement," died of natural causes at 3:41 am. Tuesday, April 20, at Howard University Hospital, 27 days after her 98th birthday.

As NPR's Allison Keyes reports, Height had been working on the issues of equality and fairness since the 1930s and was an icon of the civil rights movement:

Dorothy Height, Civil Rights Hero, Has Died

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Howard University reminds us that Height:

Was a key figure throughout the civil rights movement. She was the female team leader in the Civil Rights Leadership, along with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Whitney H. Young, A. Philip Randolph, James Farmer, Roy Wilkins and John Lewis. At the 1963 March on Washington, Height was on the platform when King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech.

In November 2008, just after the election of the nation's first African-American president, Height was a guest on NPR's Tell Me More. Host Michel Martin asked Height about the role civil rights organizations should play in today's society and whether Barack Obama's election has signaled an end to racial discrimination. Here's some of her response:

"We need to look at who has the opportunities. We need to look at -- Obama himself pointed that to us, that you can't have a flourishing Wall Street and a destroyed Main Street. He could have also said, I'm working for the middle class, but we still have poverty. And we cannot divide up like that. We cannot say who's hurting the most. We have to make sure they be dealing with everyone."

Update at 7:30 a.m. ET. Morning Edition just broadcast this longer report about Height, also by Allison:

Dorothy Height, Civil Rights Hero, Has Died

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