Early Thursday morning the Rev. Al. Sharpton’s mother, Ada Sharpton, died in Dorthan, Alabama.

The 87-year-old had been battling Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Rachel Noerdlinger, his spokeswoman, said Sharpton learned of his mother’s death while boarding the flight to Florida. Sharpton will fly to Alabama to make arrangements for his mother’s funeral, said Noerdlinger.

Before heading to Alabama Sharpton will attend a rally in Sanford, Fla. that he organized for slain teenager Trayvon Martin.