By ERRIN HAINES, Associated Press Writer 26 minutes ago
ATLANTA - Coretta Scott King, who turned a life shattered by her husband's assassination into one devoted to enshrining his legacy of human rights and equality, has died. She was 78.
Flags at the King Center were lowered to half-staff Tuesday morning.
"We appreciate the prayers and condolences from people across the country," the King family said in a statement. The family said she died overnight, but did not say where she died. She suffered a serious stroke and heart attack in 2005.
King became a symbol, in her own right, of her husband's struggle for peace and brotherhood, presiding with a quiet, steady, stoic presence over seminars and conferences on global issues.
"I'm more determined than ever that my husband's dream will become a reality," King said soon after his slaying, a demonstration of the strong will that lay beneath the placid calm and dignity of her character.
She was devoted to her children and considered them her first responsibility. But she also wrote a book, "My Life With Martin Luther King Jr.," and, in 1969, founded the multimillion-dollar Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change.
King saw to it that the center became deeply involved with the issues she said breed violence — hunger, unemployment, voting rights and racism.
"The center enables us to go out and struggle against the evils in our society," she often said.
Coretta Scott King was truly, as Rev. Al Sharpton put it, "the first lady of the human rights movement." Her effort to ensure not only that her husband was not forgotten, but that his "vision" was carried forward, makes her a stellar example of triumph and dignity.
God speed your journey, Coretta.