Coretta Scott King

By: AP
By: AP

A longtime family friend confirms a report that Coretta Scott King has suffered a stroke and says she is having trouble speaking.

The Reverend Joseph Lowery says he was at first told by someone in King's office that she did not have a stroke. But he says he learned later it was a stroke that sent the 78-year-old widow of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Junior to Piedmont Hospital yesterday.

She remains hospitalized in fair condition.

Lowery co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Martin Luther King in 1957.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted unidentified friends in today's editions as saying that King was diagnosed with a heart malady this spring and has had several small strokes since then.

The King family released a statement today, saying only that she was resting comfortably. It expressed thanks for the, "outpouring of care and support that's being sent from around the world."

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