Coretta Scott King Dies This Morning

JANUARY 31, 2006 - Posted at 8:12 a.m. CST

ATLANTA (AP) - Flags at the King Center in Atlanta have been lowered to half-staff in honor of Coretta Scott King, who has died at the age of 78.

A close friend of the King family told The Associated Press he spoke early this morning with King's daughter, Bernice, who confirmed her mother's passing.

King was the widow of the late civil rights giant Martin Luther King.

Former Mayor Andrew Young said on The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Web site that Bernice King found her mother at about 1 o'clock this morning.  Young told NBC's 'Today' show that Coretta Scott King "quietly slipped away" in her sleep.

Young is a former civil rights activist and was close to the King family.

In Young's words, "Her spirit will remain with us just as her husband's has."

King suffered a serious stroke and heart attack last year.

She and her husband had four children.  The civil rights leader was assassinated in Memphis in 1968.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)