Dorothy Irene Height, long-time civil rights activist, chair and president emerita of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and “godmother of the women’s movement,” died at age 98 today.
The Heinz Awards described just some of her accomplishments succinctly:
Dr. Height can rightfully boast of a career that has spanned seven decades as a leader in the struggle for equality and human rights for all people. Her passionate commitment to lift up the poor and powerless, to advance women’s rights and to promote education programs that embody the principles of self-reliance has given new meaning, courage and purpose to women, youth and families everywhere.
It is now legendary that Dr. Height was the glue that held together the often fractious, competitive and powerful coalition of men who were visible at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. She was the only woman at the table with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Roy Wilkins, Whitney Young and others as they mapped their strategy.
NPR has some great coverage of her fascinating work and astute commentary, right up through the last presidential election.