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KING--Sharon B., a highly respected leader in philanthropy, died peacefully at home on October 21st, following a long battle with cancer. She was 68 years old. Prior to her work in philanthropy, Sharon held positions in the nonprofit, private, and government sectors, where she devoted her energy...

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Sharon King trusted a group of young American African leaders from rural North Carolina to build one of the only youth organizations led by and for African Americna young people in the South. She continued to fund our work and as a result we won many battles and grow many young leaders across the South. There were no other Sharon Kings' out there trusting black youth with thousands of dollars to do the social justice work...she was our pioneer and modern day Ella Baker. We will always...

Sharon had a mission. With TRP we carry her work on...David Perry (Chicago)

Sharon was a rare gem - particularly among foundation executives. Seldom did she miss an opportunity to attend the Delta Blues Festival, where she was as much at home dancing and laughing with families in Mississippi's sun-drenched cotton fields, as she was in Heron's New York office. Her site visits were a gift. I learned so much from Sharon's thoughtful questions, and from our conversations about influencing systems to effect change. She took the long view, as a funder and a thinker....

Sharon King was one of the greatest-souled human beings in our midst, full of passion for those with unfilled needs and full of determination and practical ideas about how to ease or fill their needs. She was a gentle soul with a soft but firm voice, an ever-present smile, and a hearty laugh. When I think about her death at so young an age, I simply want to cry.

I met Sharon when I was a Chicago Community Trust Fellow placed at the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation for the summer. In addition to advising me about nuances of national philanthropy, knowing my Chicago roots Sharon went out of her way to make me feel at home in the Big Apple. Although ours was a brief encounter, at the time her kind advice and counsel was an invaluable asset to me. She will be remembered as a gracious and wonderful leader.

Sharon was a beacon, builder, example and incredibly thoughtful and generous spirit. Her spirit carries on. Condolences to Martha and Sharon's family, along with deep gratitude for sharing her with us.

John Taylor

I will remember Sharon as one of the kindest most joyful people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. The world would be such a beautiful place if we all used her character as the ideal of how we all should be, if we aspired to bring the kind of laughter, integrity and care that she brought to all of us. Even now, just a mere thought about Sharon brings a smile to my face and reaffirms my belief in the goodness of all people. Sharon simply mastered the art of allowing you to see that...

The Edward Hazen Foundation was privileged to be led by Sharon King from 1988 to 1991. Her vision for supporting organizations with “their feet in the community” (her phrase) led the foundation to the work we do today. It was a unique perspective at the time and has guided us ever since. Sharon was so wonderfully generous to me with her time, taking a moment to offer me words of support and encouragement over the years that I knew her. I will miss her, as will we all.

I did not have the pleasure of meeting Ms. King, but as an African-American president of a foundation, I stand on her shoulders every day.

Karen McNeil-Miller
Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust