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Martin Luther King Jr

Martin Luther King” and “MLK” redirect here. For other uses, see Martin Luther King (disambiguation) and MLK (disambiguation).

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr..jpg

King in 1964

Born      Michael King Jr.

January 15, 1929

Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.

Died       April 4, 1968 (aged 39)

Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.

Cause of death Assassination

Monuments       Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

Alma mater

Morehouse College

Crozer Theological Seminary

Boston University

Occupation         Clergyman, activist

Organization      Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)

Movement         African-American Civil Rights Movement, Peace movement

Religion                Baptist

Spouse(s)            Coretta Scott King (m. 1953–68; his death)


Yolanda Denise King (1955–2007)

Martin Luther King III (b. 1957)

Dexter Scott King (b. 1961)

Bernice Albertine King (b. 1963)


Martin Luther King Sr.

Alberta Williams King


Christine King Farris (sister)

Alfred Daniel Williams King (brother)


Nobel Peace Prize (1964)

Presidential Medal of Freedom (1977, posthumous)

Congressional Gold Medal (2004, posthumous)


Martin Luther King Jr Signature2.svg

This article is part of a series about

Martin Luther King Jr.

Biography Sermons and speeches



Montgomery Bus Boycott Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom Albany Movement Birmingham campaign March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom St. Augustine movement Selma to Montgomery marches Chicago Open Housing Movement March Against Fear Poor People’s Campaign Memphis Sanitation strike

Death and memorial


Assassination American federal holiday National memorial

Martin Luther King Jr Signature2.svg


Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American Baptist minister and activist who was a leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs.


King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, serving as its first president. With the SCLC, King led an unsuccessful 1962 struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia (the Albany Movement), and helped organize the 1963 nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Alabama. King also helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. There, he established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history.


On October 14, 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. In 1965, he helped to organize the Selma to Montgomery marches, and the following year he and SCLC took the movement north to Chicago to work on segregated housing. In the final years of his life, King expanded his focus to include opposition towards poverty and the Vietnam War, alienating many of his liberal allies with a 1967 speech titled “Beyond Vietnam”.


In 1968, King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., to be called the Poor People’s Campaign, when he was assassinated on April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee. His death was followed by riots in many U.S. cities.


King was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established as a holiday in numerous cities and states beginning in 1971, and as a U.S. federal holiday in 1986. Hundreds of streets in the U.S. have been renamed in his honor, and a county in Washington State was also renamed for him. The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was dedicated in 2011.


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