Martin Luther King Jr.

Michael Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968)

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Rev. Dr. Michael Luther (Martin Luther) King Jr.
Born in 501 Auburn Ave NE, Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Brother of [private sister (1920s - unknown)] and
Husband of [private wife (1920s - 2000s)]
Father of , [private son (1950s - unknown)], [private son (1960s - unknown)] and [private daughter (1960s - unknown)]
Died in Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 1 Feb 2012 | Last significant change: 8 Jan 2019
18:41: David Brodeur edited the Birth Place for Michael Luther King Jr. (1929-1968). [Thank David for this]
This page has been accessed 5,234 times.

Categories: Presidential Medal of Freedom | Congressional Gold Medal | Nobel Laureates of the 20th Century | American Heroes | US Civil Rights Activists | Baptist Ministers | This Day In History April 04 | Namesakes US Counties | Martin Luther King, Jr. Center, Atlanta, Georgia | Examples Gallery | 1960s Civil Rights Movement | Activists and Reformers.

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Martin Luther King Jr. was a part of the US Civil Rights Activists Movement.
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Martin Luther King, Jr. was a United States clergyman, activist, and leader in the civil rights movement.[1][2]


Martin Luther King, Jr.[1] was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, to Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King.[2][3] His legal name at birth was "Michael King", also his father's given name.[1][2] King Sr. "changed" both names during a 1934 trip to Nazi Germany to attend the Fifth Baptist World Alliance Congress in Berlin.[1] He chose to be called Martin Luther King in honor of the great German reformer Martin Luther.

Martin, Jr., was a middle child, between an older sister, Willie Christine King, and a younger brother, Alfred Daniel Williams King.[1] Martin and his sisters attended segregated schools in Atlanta. He graduated at age 15.[2] In 1948, he graduated from Morehouse College with a Bachelor of Arts degree, the same college his father and grandfather had attended.[2] He earned a Bachelors of Divinity from Crozer Theological Seminary in 1951, and was president of his class.[2] He received his doctorate from Boston University in 1955.[2] It was in Boston that he met his wife, Coretta Scott.[2]

Martin's family had a legacy of serving as pastors of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, which Martin continued.[2] In 1954, he became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.[2]


Martin Luther King, Jr. is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.[1][4] Along with other great idealists and social reformers such as Mahatma Gandhi, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, and Nelson Mandela, there is no doubt that Martin Luther King was awakened, in the sense defined in "The Leap: The Psychology of Spiritual Awakening".[5]. King is often presented as a heroic leader in the history of modern American liberalism.

A Baptist minister, King became a civil rights activist early in his career. By 1954, he was a member of the executive committee of the NAACP.[2] He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott, which led to the United States Supreme Court declaring bus seat segregation unconstitutional.[2][4] King and his family were persecuted for his persistence.[2]

He helped to found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, serving as its first president.[2][4] From 1957 to 1964, Dr. King traveled extensively, speaking for civil rights and equality, all the while writing five books and numerous articles.[2] During one of his engagements in Birmingham, Alabama, a city noted at the time as one of the most segregated, he was arrested, and wrote his stirring "Letter from a Birmingham Jail."[2][4]

King's efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech.[2][4] There, he expanded American values to include the vision of a color blind society, and established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history. He was named Time's Man of the Year in 1963.[2][4]

In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other nonviolent means.[2] He turned the prize money over to organizations to further the fight for civil rights.[2]

By 1968, King had refocused his efforts on ending poverty and stopping the Vietnam War.[4]

Death and Legacy

Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee, on the balcony of his Lorraine Motel room.[2][4][3] His funeral was held in Atlanta, where it was widely attended.[4] His body is interred at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center.[3]

He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and Congressional Gold Medal in 2004.[1]

King's efforts are memorialized in many ways, with statues, streets, schools, as well as geographical places. King County, Washington used to be named in honor of William Rufus Devane King, Vice President of the United States under President Franklin Pierce. In 1986, the King County Council voted to change it to be in honor Martin Luther King, Jr. This did not become official until passed by the state legislature in 2005. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a U.S. national holiday in 1986. He is the only non-president to have a national holiday named in his honor.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Wikipedia contributors, "Martin Luther King Jr.," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed January 11, 2018).
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 Martin Luther King, Jr, Accessed 11 Jan 2018.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 11 January 2018), memorial page for Dr Martin Luther King, Jr (15 Jan 1929–4 Apr 1968), Find A Grave: Memorial #582, citing Martin Luther King, Jr. Center, Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 About Dr. King, Accessed 11 Jan 2018
  5. The leap: The psychology of spiritual awakening, Steve Taylor, 2017, An Eckhart Tolle Edition, New World Library, Novato, California
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 582
  • "United States Census, 1930," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 11 January 2018), Marvin L King Jr. in household of Marvin L King, Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 63, sheet 20A, line 29, family 190, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 361; FHL microfilm 2,340,096.
  • "United States Census, 1940," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 11 January 2018), Martin L King in household of Marvin L King, Ward 5, Atlanta, Atlanta City, Fulton, Georgia, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 160-241, sheet 13B, line 62, family 268, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 - 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 733.
  • MLK tribute page at the Seattle Times

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    On 14 Sep 2017 at 18:25 GMT Lisa (Kelsey) Murphy wrote:

    His "I Have a Dream" speech (the written part) was not finished until 3:30 am the morning of the speech. He still made it to the march. The officials thought legislation would be harmed and that dogs would have to be turned lose, hoses would be turned on and there would be mass problems. None of these happened. None of the plugs had to be pulled even. He read his speech but the I have a dream part was not on the paper. After reading what was written, he began to speak and that is when they listened. He is quoted as saying "The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict." Meltzer, Brad, Heroes for my son, pgs 20-21, Harper Collins Publishing

    On 20 Nov 2016 at 02:21 GMT Elizabeth Winter wrote:

    King-18094 and King-4303 appear to represent the same person because: Whoops! Someone made a duplicate in May 2016.

    On 19 May 2015 at 23:00 GMT J. (Pearson) Salsbery wrote:

    Actually, Maryann didn't know that I was separating out the US Civil Rights Activists and the British Civil Rights Activists. And all categories should be plural, which is what she was aiming at.

    Could you please change the category name to US Civil Rights Activists.

    Thank you!

    On 15 May 2015 at 18:39 GMT J. (Pearson) Salsbery wrote:

    It would be nice to add the template,
    Activists and Reformers poster
    Martin Luther King Jr. was a part of the Civil Rights Activist Movement.
    Join: Activists and Reformers Project

    On 2 Apr 2014 at 19:39 GMT Ed Burke wrote:

    King-4566 and King-4303 appear to represent the same person because: Please accept this merge request.

    On 2 Apr 2014 at 19:25 GMT Ed Burke wrote:

    According to Wikipedia Martin Luther King sang with his church choir at the 1939 Atlanta premiere of the movie Gone with the Wind.

    On 9 Nov 2013 at 21:51 GMT Philip Smith wrote:

    This category can be added

    Martin Luther is 30 degrees from Robin Helstrom, 27 degrees from Katy Jurado and 21 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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