Civil Rights Pioneer Dorothy Height Dead

Obama calls her the 'godmother' of movement
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2010 1:13 PM CDT
Civil Rights Pioneer Dorothy Height Dead
In this June 4, 2009 file photo, Chair and President Emerita of National Council of Negro Women Dr Dorothy Height speaks during the Uncommon Height Gala honoring Oprah Winfrey in Washington D.C.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

Civil rights luminary Dorothy Height has died of natural causes at age 98, says a spokesperson for the National Council of Negro Women, a group that Height headed for 40 years. Though never a media darling, Height was active in civil rights causes since the 1930s, lobbying everyone from Eleanor Roosevelt to Dwight Eisenhower, the Washington Post reports. She helped organize the Civil Rights movement of the '60s with Martin Luther King, and was on the platform during his “I Have a Dream” speech.

Bill Clinton awarded her the Medal of Freedom in 1994, and Congress followed suit with the Congressional Gold Medal in 2004. At the news of her death, Barack Obama released a statement calling her, “the godmother of the Civil Rights Movement and a hero to so many Americans.” (Read more Dorothy Height stories.)

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