Obama: Follow Dorothy Height's example of service

Published April 29, 2010

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama called on Americans to honor the memory of civil rights leader Dorothy Height by serving their country and making it better.

The president said: "We can all be drum majors for a righteous cause."

Obama spoke Thursday during a funeral service for Height at Washington National Cathedral. Numerous members of Congress and civil rights activists were in the audience.

Height led the National Council of Negro Women for decades and marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. She died last week at age 98.

Obama also struck a light note at the somber event, mentioning Height's colorful hats "that she wore like a crown."

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says civil rights icon Dorothy Height lived a righteous life that changed the country for the better.

Obama spoke Thursday during a funeral service for the fallen civil rights leader at Washington National Cathedral.

Height led the National Council of Negro Women for decades and marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. She died last week at age 98.

Obama praised Height for contributing to civil rights advances, sometimes at personal risk. He said she "deserves a place" in our history books and America's memory,

Obama spoke of the environment in which Height was raised, where lynching was still commonplace and many black people were denied opportunity.

Written by BRETT ZONGKER and JULIE PACE, Associated Press Writer

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