Coretta Scott was born in Marion, Alabama. She would marry civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and work alongside him to secure equal rights for African-Americans during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and '60s. Following her husband’s assassination in 1968, she continued his life’s work by establishing the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, Georgia. She was also the driving force behind the designation of her husband’s birthday as a national holiday (President Ronald Reagan signed the bill in 1983) and was also an accomplished author and regular contributor to CNN. She suffered a heart attack in August 2005 and passed away on January 30, 2006. She was 78.
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(Photo: CBS /Landov)