It is a painful thing to wake up to:
Coretta Scott King, the widow of civil rights legend Martin Luther King Jr., has died in Atlanta at the age of 78 (CBS News).
May God give her the peace she so richly deserves.
Coretta Scott King (April 27, 1927 – January 30, 2006 1) was the wife of the slain civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. and a noted community leader in her own right.
The Kings were married on June 18, 1953. The wedding ceremony took place in Scott's parents' house in Marion and was performed by King's father.
King and Scott had four children:
Yolanda Denise King (November 17, 1955, Montgomery, Alabama) Martin Luther King III (October 23, 1957, Montgomery, Alabama) Dexter Scott King (January 30, 1961, Atlanta, Georgia) Bernice Albertine King (March 28, 1963, Atlanta, Georgia) The four children all have one thing in common: They have followed their father's footsteps as civil rights activists, although pet issues and opinions differ among the King children.
Mrs. King was vocal in her opposition to capital punishment and the 2003 invasion of Iraq, thus drawing criticism from conservative groups. She was also a vocal advocate of women's rights, lesbian and gay rights and AIDS/HIV prevention.
There is a medal named after Mrs. King that is awarded for excellence in children's literature.
Over the years, she not only was active in preserving the memory of her husband, but also active in other political issues. After her husband was assassinated in 1968, she began attending a commemorative service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta to mark her husband's birth every January 15 (now on the third Monday in January since Martin Luther King Day was proclaimed). She also honored presidents on different occasions. Some of them include being at the state funeral of former president Lyndon Johnson, in 1973, being present when President Ronald Reagan signed legislation establishing Martin Luther King Day, and being present at the first inauguration of George W. Bush in 2001. King received honorary degrees from many institutions including Princeton University and Bates College.
On August 16, 2005, Mrs. King was hospitalized after suffering a stroke and a mild heart attack. Initially, she was unable to speak and move her right side. She was released from Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta on September 22, 2005, after regaining some of her speech and continued physiotherapy at home. Because of complications from the stroke, she was apparently unable to make her wishes known regarding the ongoing debate as to whether or not her late husband's birthplace should continue to be maintained by the city of Atlanta or The National Park Service (Wikipedia).