August 16, 2005

King widow admitted to Atlanta hospital

By Paul Simao

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Coretta Scott King, the widow of slain
civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., has been admitted
to an Atlanta hospital with an undisclosed condition, a
hospital official said on Tuesday.

"She is here and is resting comfortably," said Diana Lewis,
a spokeswoman for Piedmont Hospital. Lewis would not give any
details on why King, 78, was brought to the hospital or when
she had been admitted.

King was briefly hospitalized at the same hospital earlier
this year with a heart problem. At that time, her family said
her condition was not serious.

Although she has curtailed her public appearances in recent
months, King remains an icon in the black community for the
role she played in the U.S. civil rights movement in the 1950s
and 1960s.

She continued to fight for equality after her husband was
murdered on a Memphis motel balcony by a sniper's bullet on
April 4, 1968. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate was killed while
supporting striking sanitation workers.

His widow moved quickly to create a memorial in the Martin
Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta,
with archives containing more than 2,000 King speeches, a
complex built around the King crypt and an eternal flame.

She also campaigned successfully for a federal holiday
celebrating his birthday, conducted annual "King Week"
observances, restaged the 1963 march on Washington during which
King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech, and made
appearances promoting his philosophy of nonviolence.

In 1998, she broke 30 years of silence on the subject of
her husband's assassination, saying she did not believe James
Earl Ray, the man sentenced to 99 years in prison for King's
slaying, acted alone.

King said she believed the assassination was the work of a
high-level government conspiracy, as Ray contended, and pushed
for the creation of a federal "truth" commission to investigate
the matter.

Ray died in prison in 1998 at age 70.

In recent years, King has been active in the struggle to
control the spread of AIDS in the black community.