Ada Sharpton, the 87-year-old mother of the Rev. Al Sharpton, died Thursday in Dotham, Ala., after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease and dementia, the civil rights organization founded and led by Sharpton announced Thursday.
According to the National Action Network, Sharpton will make funeral arrangements after attending a rally to push for the prosecution of the neighborhood watch leader who allegedly killed Trayvon Martin, the unarmed 17-year-old shot to death in an Orlando suburb Feb. 26.
"My mom would have wanted me to," go Sharpton tweeted Thursday as he was en route to last night's rally. In an earlier tweet, Sharpton described his mother as "my all. I hope God will give her peace now."
When Sharpton was nine, his father abandoned his mother to marry Sharpton's half-sister from his mother's previous marriage. Ada Sharpton went to work as a maid and was eventually forced to go on welfare as the family tumbled into poverty.
In a 2002 New York magazine article, the late writer Jack Newfield described Sharpton tearing up as Sharpton recounted, "I love my mother. I had to watch her suffer from the humiliation of her daughter stealing her husband, and of having a child out of wedlock with her husband."