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ATLANTA (AP) — Civil rights icon Joseph Lowery was in stable condition an Atlanta hospital because of respiratory problems.

David Stokes, a friend of the 88-year-old Lowery, says the longtime president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference was admitted to on Saturday and placed in an intensive care unit as a precaution

Lowery was in stable condition and resting comfortably at Emory University Hospital Midtown on Monday, Emory Healthcare spokesman Lance Skelly said.

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Ambassador Andrew Young, who worked alongside Lowery and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement, said Lowery missed this weekend’s Trumpet Awards honoring African-American achievement, but that his wife, Evelyn, arrived late after getting him to the hospital.

WATCH Lowery speak at Inauguration:

“The problem is when you’re 88, anything could be serious,” Young said on Monday. “They don’t want him to have visitors for awhile. He was just run down, so they just said leave him alone for a couple of days.”

Lowery was a co-founder of the SCLC and served as its president from 1977 to 1997. He delivered the benediction at the inauguration of President Barack Obama, who awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.


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