Civil Rights Icon Lowery Hospitalized In Atlanta

Civil rights icon Joseph Lowery was admitted to an Atlanta hospital Saturday because of respiratory problems. A hospital spokesman says he is in stable condition.

ATLANTA (UPI) -- Civil rights leader Joseph Lowery was hospitalized in Atlanta as a precaution after suffering a respiratory problem, friends and associates said.

Lowery, 88, a minister, was admitted to Emory University Hospital Saturday, but his condition was not serious and he was expected to be released Monday, said David Stokes, a friend.

Lowery fell ill before he was to attend the African American achievement Trumpet Awards ceremony Saturday night.

"He was having shortness of breath," fellow civil rights icon Andrew Young told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in a story reported Monday.

Lowery co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the group originally headed by the late Martin Luther King Jr. Last year, Lowery spoke at the inauguration of President Barack Obama and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.

Lowery was hospitalized a year ago when his blood pressure dropped after preaching a sermon. He apparently had become so absorbed about preaching he had forgotten to eat, Stokes said.