- NAME: Coretta Scott King
- OCCUPATION: Civil Rights Activist, Women's Rights Activist, Anti-War Activist, Writer
- BIRTH DATE: April 27, 1927
- DEATH DATE: January 30, 2006
- Did You Know?: In her younger years, Coretta Scott King was as well known for her singing and violin playing as her civil rights activism.
- Did You Know?: The young soprano won a fellowship to the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.
- EDUCATION: Antioch College, Lincoln High School, New England Conservatory of Music
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Marion, Alabama
- PLACE OF DEATH: Playas de Rosarito, Mexico
- Maiden Name: Coretta Scott
- Full Name: Coretta Scott King
- AKA: Coretta King
Best Known For
Coretta Scott King was an American civil rights activist and the wife of 1960s civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
Betty & Coretta - Trailer (1:56)
After her husband became pastor, Coretta Scott King joined the choir at the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church. Hear two of her friends and members of the congregation remember Mrs. King’s legacy and her voice.
Angela Bassett, who stars as Coretta Scott King in the Lifetime Original Movie, "Betty & Coretta," remembers and honors Martin Luther King. "Betty & Coretta" premieres Saturday, February 2nd 8/7c.
Mary J. Blige, who stars as Betty Shabazz in the Lifetime Original Movie, "Betty & Coretta," remembers and honors Martin Luther King. "Betty & Coretta" premieres Saturday, February 2nd 8/7c.
Focusing on the extraordinary women behind the two men who would change history, "Betty & Coretta" tells the similar true stories of Coretta Scott King , wife of Dr. Martin Luther King and Dr. Betty Shabazz, wife of Malcolm X.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Coretta was also behind the 15-year fight to have her husband's birthday instituted as a national holiday—President Ronald Reagan finally signed the bill in 1983, thusly creating "Martin Luther King Day." Additionally, she published a memoir, My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1969.
Coretta and Martin Luther King Jr. had four children together: Yolanda Denise (b. 1955), an actress; Martin Luther King III (b. 1957), who now serves as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; Dexter Scott (b. 1961), who runs the King Library and Archive; and Bernice Albertine (b. 1963), a lawyer and Baptist minister.
Coretta Scott King suffered a heart attack and stroke in August 2005. She died less than a year later, on January 30, 2006, at the age of 78, in Playas de Rosarito, Mexico.
Today, King is remembered for her brave work on behalf of civil rights in the United States. Her life has been an inspiration to many over the past several years, and will continue to inspire for decades to come. She once said, "I believe all Americans who believe in freedom, tolerance and human rights have a responsibility to oppose bigotry and prejudice based on sexual orientation."
© 2014 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.
Learn more about the lives of African-Americans who have made extraordinary achievements in their fields, with our collection of Black History Groups.
Explore our curated collections of African-American figures, including:
Check out BIO’s original video series, American Freedom Stories, about the historic events of the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama, and the leaders and everyday heroes who fought to make racial equality a reality. Watch videos.
profile name: Coretta Scott King profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
Who can forget Angela Bassett as Tina Turner or Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles? Do you remember who played Billie Holiday? Or who Beyoncé performed as in the film Cadillac Records? More recent African-American biopics include the Lifetime original movie Betty & Coretta (2013), starring Angela Bassett as Coretta Scott King and Mary J. Blige as Betty Shabazz, and The Butler (2013), starring Forest Whitaker and based on the life of Eugene Allen.
View our photos of African-American biopics to compare these famous figures to the actors and actresses who have portrayed them.
African-American Biopics 39 people in this group
Famous Taureans 564 people in this group
African-Americans have a long history of activism in America, from fighting for the right to vote to pushing for integrated public spaces. Activists like Stokely Carmichael organized freedom rides, James Meredith fought to integrate blacks and whites at the University of Mississippi, and Rosa Parks instigated the Montgomery Bus Boycott. These protests were often legal and nonviolent, and made a powerful impact on civil rights in the United States. With the help of activists like these—and many others—the country slowly worked to acknowledge the basic rights and contributions of African-Americans. Activists outisde of the U.S. include Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela, who have fought against apartheid in South Africa. Learn more about the many black activists who fought against the odds in order to achieve equality.
Famous Black Activists 160 people in this group