Civil rights leader Joseph Lowery dies at 98

Civil rights leader Joseph Lowery dies at 98
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The Rev. Joseph Lowery, who was a key figure in the civil rights movement, died Friday at the age of 98.

Lowery died in Atlanta of natural causes unrelated to the coronavirus, his family told The Associated Press in a statement.

After fighting alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement, Lowery was the head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for two decades before eventually retiring in 1997.

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“Tonight, the great Reverend Joseph E. Lowery transitioned from earth to eternity,” The King Center in Atlanta tweeted Friday. “He was a champion for civil rights, a challenger of injustice, a dear friend to the King family.”

In 2009, then-President Obama awarded Lowery the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the U.S.'s highest civilian honor.