Coretta Scott King, the widow of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., died Tuesday, Jan. 31, at age 78.
President Mark Gearan said, “I was honored to meet with Coretta Scott King at a service conference I spoke at in Atlanta. I have long admired her commitment to social justice and diversity.”
He was among the speakers at the ninth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Service Summit in January 2002 at Georgia State University in Atlanta. The summit attracted more than 5,000 attendees from across the nation to remember, celebrate, and act on the life and legacy of Dr. King.
After his talk on “The New Citizenship,” Gearan discussed the impact of service on our nation with Mrs. King and spoke of her work in changing the focus of the national Martin Luther King Jr. holiday to a day spent in service to our community and others.
Former President Bill Clinton and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton issued a joint statement that “The march toward racial and social equality in this country existed in large part because of her sacrifices, and its continuation is the greatest testament to her legacy.”
Mrs. King was named by President Jimmy Carter to the U.S. delegation to the United Nations in 1977. Two of her children have visited the area: the Rev. Bernice King delivered the commencement address at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in 1997, and Martin Luther King III spoke in Rochester on Jan. 27.
President Bush noted her passing in his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Jan. 31.