Following Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in 1968, she continued their work, founding the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, GA. She served as the center’s president and chief executive officer from its inception.
In 1980, a 23-acre site around King’s birthplace was designated for use by the King Center. The following year, a museum complex was dedicated on the site.
King also was behind the fifteen-year fight to have her husband’s birthday instituted as a national holiday—President Ronald Reagan finally signed the bill in 1983.
In 1995, King passed the reins of the King Center over to her son, Dexter, but she remains in the public eye. She wrote regular articles on social issues and published a syndicated column. She had been a regular commentator on CNN since 1980. In 1997, she called for a retrial for her husband’s alleged assassin, James Earl Ray. Ray died in prison before the trial could begin.
Coretta and Martin Luther King Jr. had four children: Martin Luther King III, who served as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC); Yolanda, an actress; Bernice, a lawyer and Baptist minister; and Dexter; who runs the King Library and Archive. King suffered a heart attack and stroke in August 2005; she died on January 30, 2006.
Biography courtesy of BIO.com