Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, to Alberta Williams King and Martin Luther King, Sr. Alberta King's father was the minister at Ebenezer Baptist Church where Reverend King, Sr. and Reverend King, Jr. served as pa stors.
Martin Luther King, Jr. earned his B.A. degree at Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia, a B.D. degree at Croser Theological Seminary, Chester, Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. degree at Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts.
In 1954, Reverend King began his pastoral career at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. His involvement in the civil rights movement was the result of Mrs. Rosa Parks refusal to give up her seat to a white person. When the Montgomery Im provement Association was formed in December 1955, King was elected president of the association. The United States Supreme Court decision declaring Alabama law segregation on buses illegal was the victory from which King emerged as a national hero and r esulted in the formation of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He inspired people of all races and ethnic backgrounds to join in a peaceful, nonviolent protest against segregation. On August 29, 1963, he made his most famous speech, I Have a Dream, at the Lincoln Memorial to an audience, measured, at that time, to be the largest civil rights demonstration in the history of the United States.
King traveled numerous miles and made hundreds of speeches during the course of his quest for the "dream" of equality and freedom for all Americans, especially African-Americans. Universities awarded him honorary degrees, and religious and civic organiza tions presented him medals and citations. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Although he was not the first Negro to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, at thirty-five years old, he was the youngest man to receive the award.
The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968. He left...