Civil rights activist Dorothy Height dead at 98

April 20th, 2010 - 11:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, April 20 (DPA) Dorothy Irene Height, who was a leading woman’s voice during the civil rights movement of the 1960s and marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr, has died at the age of 98.
Height died early Tuesday morning of natural causes at Howard University Hospital in Washington, the hospital confirmed. She had been receiving medical attention for weeks.

Height headed the National Council of Negro Women from 1957 to 1998 and worked closely with King. She was on the stage during the 1963 March on Washington when King delivered his famous “I have a dream” speech.

Former president Bill Clinton awarded her the presidential medal of freedom, the highest civilian honour, in 1994 and Congress presented her with a Congressional Gold Medal in 2004.

President Barack Obama issued a statement calling Height the “godmother” of the civil rights movement and praised her diligent work until the final days of her life.

“Even in the final weeks of her life ­ a time when anyone else would have enjoyed their well-earned rest ­ Dr Height continued her fight to make our nation a more open and inclusive place for people of every race, gender, background and faith,” Obama said.

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