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Profile of the Day: Coretta Scott King

On this day in 1927, American civil rights activist Coretta Scott King was born in Marion, Alabama.

Image: Coretta Scott King / Library of Congress

The widow of Civil Rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr., King also made significant contributions to the Civil Rights movement both before and after her husband’s death.

She was the third child born to Obadiah Scott and Bernice McMurray. Her father was the first black person in their neighborhood to own a vehicle, and before he started his own business, he worked as a policeman.

Throughout the 1950s and ’60s, Coretta worked side-by-side with her husband to fight racial inequality through nonviolence. After the death of her husband, she took on a greater leadership role and became an advocate for the rights of women and the LGBT community.

King died on January 30, 2006 after suffering from health problems due to an earlier stroke and ovarian cancer. Over 14,000 people gathered for her funeral at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. The funeral was attended by four out of five living U.S. Presidents as well as future president Barack Obama. She was buried next to her husband at the King Center.

Explore the family tree of Coretta Scott King and share how you’re related to the American Civil Rights activist.

View Coretta Scott King’s Geni Profile

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