Renowned civil rights leader Coretta Scott King, wife of the late Martin Luther King, Jr, passed away last night in her sleep at the age of 78. Coretta Scott King was well-known for her dedication to peace and civil rights, but she was also dedicated to women’s rights throughout her lifetime.
King played a significant role in the founding years of the National Organization for Women (NOW). She hosted NOW’s second convention in Atlanta, Georgia. King was appointed by President Carter to serve as a commissioner on the National Commission on the Observation of International Women’s Year, which was led by Bella Abzug.
On what would have been Martin Luther King’s 50th birthday, King dedicated the public observation to the drive to make his birthday a national holiday, as well as the drive to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. King faithfully attended the annual brunch of the National Congress of Black Women, led by Dr. C. DeLores Tucker, a civil rights and women’s rights champion who passed away last year.
“Over and over again, Coretta Scott King lent her words, her encouragement, her acts, and her deeds for the drive for human rights, civil rights, and women’s rights worldwide,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation. “She wisely used her historical position to further the rights of all people.”