As an integral player in the Civil Rights Movement, Coretta Scott King was the first woman to deliver a statutory sermon at St. Paul's Cathedral in London. Through her speeches and advocacy, she also helped secure the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.Continue Reading
Using her degree in music from the New England Conservatory, King organized and performed in a series of Freedom concerts. Proceeds helped fund the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a civil rights organization created by her husband, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
King often gave speeches on civil rights when her husband was unavailable. She also performed a variety of administrative duties and helped organize protest marches, as well as the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
As a cofounder of the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, King earned a reputation as an advocate for world peace. In 1962 she was appointed as a delegate to the Disarmament Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. A few months after her husband's death in 1968, she served as the keynote speaker for the Poor People's Campaign.
King founded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change. She served as the center's chief executive officer until 1995. Following several strokes and complications from cancer, King died in 2006.Learn more about US History