Michael Luther King, Jr., later known as Martin Luther King, Jr., was born on January 15, 1929, and died on April 4, 1968. His grandfather served as pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta from 1914 until 1931 when Martin’s father took over from him. Martin Luther also served as co-pastor from 1960 until his death.
Martin Luther attended segregated public schools in Georgia, where he completed high school at the age of fifteen. He obtained his B. A. from Morehouse College, a prestigious black university in Atlanta, where both his father and grandfather had received their degrees. He was named president of Crozer Theology Seminary in Pennsylvania after three years of theological study there.
He received the B.D. in 1951 after completing three years of theology study at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, where he was chosen as class president of a senior class that was largely made up of white people.
After winning a fellowship from Crozer, he enrolled in a graduate school at Boston University, finishing his doctoral residence in 1953 and receiving the degree in 1955.
In Boston, he fell in love with and wed Coretta Scott, a young woman with extraordinary intellectual and creative abilities. The family has two girls and two sons.
In 1954, Martin Luther King was appointed pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. King, who has always been a steadfast advocate for the civil rights of people of his race, was by this point a member of the executive committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the nation’s premier organization of its sort. Early in December 1955, he led the Montgomery bus boycott, a 13-month mass protest that ended with the Supreme Court ruling that segregation on public buses is unconstitutional. On December 21, 1956, black people and white people rode the buses together after the Supreme Court ruling. He was honored as a laureate and to be regarded
of the bus boycott, which Gunnar Jahn had just described in his address honoring the laureate as the first significant Negro peaceful protest in modern times in the United States.
His home was bombed, and he received personal hatred during these days of the boycott, but he also rose to prominence as a top-tier Negro leader.
He was chosen to serve as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, which was established to offer fresh leadership for the then-emerging civil rights movement. He derived the principles for this organization from Christianity and Gandhi’s operational methods. King traveled more than six million miles and gave more than 25 speeches between 1957 and 1968, a period of eleven years.
He published five books and several articles while appearing everywhere there was injustice, protest, and action. During these years, he organized a sizable demonstration in Birmingham, Alabama, drawing worldwide attention and assembling what he called a coalition of conscience. He led a protest in Alabama to register Black voters, a protest that attracted the attention of the entire world. He oversaw the 250,000-person peaceful march to Washington, D.C, where he delivered a speech titled ” I have a Dream”. He met with President John F. Kennedy, campaigned for president Lyndon B. Johnson, was detained more than 20 times, and was assaulted at least four times. He was also the inspiration for his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” a statement about the Black revolution.
Martin Luther King Jr. was the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize. He won it when he was only 35 years old. After learning of his selection, he declared that he would donate the $54,123 award money to the advancement of the civil rights movement.
He was shot and killed on the evening of April 4, 1968, as he stood on the balcony of his hotel room in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was about to lead a protest march in support of the city’s striking trash workers.