WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn today released the following statement on the passing of civil rights leader, Dr. Dorothy Height.

“Dr. Dorothy Height was the matriarch of the civil rights movement and dedicated her life fighting for racial justice and gender equality.  During her tenure as president of the National Council of Negro Women, a position she held for 40 years, she lead and advocated for African American women across the nation.

“I was honored to help Dr. Height with her effort to have a portrait of Dr. Mary McCloud Bethune hung in the South Carolina State Capitol.  This was an important endeavor for the both of us because Bethune was the founder of the NCNW, a native of South Carolina and a personal hero of mine. It was the first portrait of an African American to be hung in the South Carolina State Capitol and the effort forged a close and lasting relationship between Dr. Height and me.

“It it with great sadness today that I mourn the loss of a friend, hero, civil rights leader and someone that all Americans adore and admire.  Her efforts to fight for justice and equality have left a lasting impression on our nation.  My thoughts and prayers go out to her family during this time.”