Civil rights legend Dorothy Height was admitted to Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C. last Thursday and is currently in serous but stable condition, The Washington Post reports.
This comes hours after about 150 people – including members of Congress and former cabinet members – gathered to celebrate her 98th birthday last night. The celebration went on in her absence, with Height’s full blessing.
According to former Labor Secretary Alexis Herman, friends who were taking Height to an awards dinner noticed that she appeared tired. They instead took her to the hospital “kicking and screaming” to get a physician’s opinion, Herman said.
Height has suffered from heart problems in recent years and has had a pacemaker implanted. Doctors at Howard told friends that her heart appeared to be functioning normally, but, they recommended she be admitted for observation.
“She just needed a rest, to be very honest with you,” Secretary Herman told the assembled crowd, “She was just plain tired.”
Herman said Dr. Height is being sedated so she will sleep well, and doctors are optimistic she will regain her strength.
• Dorothy Height was a counselor on civil rights matters to the late First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. She has also met with at least three U.S. presidents to discuss racial matters.
• As a teenager, she was denied admission to Barnard College because the institution had a quota of two African American students per year. She was the third to show up with her acceptance letter.
• She attended New York University instead, and earned both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in four years.
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