10:24 AM / Friday May 20, 2022

20 Jun 2011

King family aunt dies in Cheyney PA

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
June 20, 2011 Category: Week In Review Posted by:

By David Wickert

Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Edythe Scott Bagley, the elder sister of Coretta Scott King and an active King Center board member, died Saturday at her Cheney, Pa., home.


A family statement said Bagley died peacefully, but no cause of death was given and her age was not available.


“I and my family are deeply saddened by the death of our beloved Aunt Edythe Scott Bagley,” nephew Martin Luther King III said in the statement. “Our Aunt Edythe was a vibrant, brilliant woman and always a source of strength and wisdom for our mother during the difficult challenges of the Civil Rights Movement.


“We will miss her dearly, and she leaves a great void in the hearts of our family and her many friends and colleagues.”



Bagley, a retired professor of theatre arts at Cheyney University, had recently completed a biography of her sister Coretta, which will be published by the University of Alabama Press next year.


Born in Marion, Ala., Bagley was the oldest of the three surviving children of Bernice McMurry Scott and Obie Scott. She was the valedictorian at Lincoln School in Marion and became the first full-time black student in modern times at Antioch College in Ohio. She later transferred and earned a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University.


Bagley earned a master’s degree in English at Columbia University and taught at Elizabeth City State Teachers College, where she met Arthur M. Bagley, whom she married in 1954. She also taught at Albany State College in Georgia and Norfolk State University in Virginia. She earned a master of fine arts degree in theater arts from Boston University in 1965.


When Martin Luther King Jr. was killed in 1968, Bagley dedicated herself to continuing her brother-in-law’s work. She spoke on radio and TV on behalf of the King Center. She worked on projects to eliminate poverty, racism and war.


Bagley was a consultant in Black Theatre at Michigan State University from 1970-72 and helped develop a theater arts major at Cheyney State College in 1971.


She was involved in the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, the America Association of University Women and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, among several organizations.


Bagley’s husband, a retired professor and chairman of the Industrial Arts and Technology Department at Cheyney University, died in February. They were married more than 56 years.


She is survived by her son, Arturo Bagley, a professor at The Tower Hill School in Wilmington, Del.; her brother, the Rev. Obie L. Scott Jr. of Greensboro, Ala., and his wife, Alberta Scott; her nephew, Martin Luther King III of Atlanta, his wife, Arndrea Waters King, and their daughter, Yolanda Renee King; her nephew, Dexter Scott King of Malibu, Calif., and her niece, the Rev. Bernice A. King of Atlanta.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News


Grand jury indicts gunman Payton Gendron on first degree murder charges

May 20, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email AP–Gunman Payton Gendron, 18, appeared briefly in court to hear that he was...


Community College of Philadelphia hosts 2022 commencement ceremony 

May 13, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Graduates pose during last week’s first full, in-person graduation ceremony since...


New reparations focus: Black enclaves lost to development

May 13, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: A wall with a mural separates a housing development, top, from...


Democrats’ effort to secure Roe v. Wade falls to filibuster

May 13, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Anti-scaling fencing blocks off the stairs to the Supreme Court, Tuesday,...

Week In Review

Daunte Wright’s mother detained after recording traffic stop

May 13, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Katie Wright holds the hand on her injured wrist before a...

Color Of Money

The hidden cost of debt on your mental health and tips to overcome

May 13, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT May is Mental Health Awareness Month and one of the biggest factors...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff