Martin Luther King Jr Biography

Martin Luther King Jr Biography

Martin Luther King Jr Biography

King, Martin Luther Michael Luther King, Jr., later known as Martin Luther King, Jr., was born on January 15, 1929, and died on April 4, 1968. (Martin Luther King Jr Biography)

His grandfather, who served as pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta from 1914 until 1931, started the family’s protracted tenure there; his father has since taken over, and Martin Luther has served as co-pastor since 1960 until his death.

Martin Luther attended segregated public schools in Georgia, where he completed high school at the age of fifteen.

He earned his B. A. from Morehouse College, a prestigious black university in Atlanta, where both his father and grandfather had received their degrees, in 1948.

He received the B.D. in 1951 after three years of theology study at Pennsylvania’s Crozer Theological Seminary, where he was named class president of a senior class that was largely white.

With the aid of a grant he had received at Crozer, he began graduate work at Boston University, finishing his residency in 1953 and earning his Ph.D. in 1955.

Coretta Scott, a young woman with exceptional intellectual and creative abilities, was someone he met in Boston and later married. The family welcomed two daughters and two sons into the world.

Martin Luther King was appointed pastor of Montgomery, Alabama’s Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in 1954.

King, who has always been a steadfast advocate for the rights of people of color, 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 was prepared to take the helm of the bus boycott, which Gunnar Jahn had just described in his address honoring the laureate as the first significant Negro nonviolent movement in modern times in the United States. 382 days passed during the boycott.

Blacks and whites rode the buses together on December 21, 1956, after the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the statutes requiring bus segregation were unconstitutional.

King suffered personal abuse, had his home bombed, and was incarcerated during these days of the boycott, but he also rose to prominence as a top-tier Negro leader. (Martin Luther King Jr Biography)

A group established to offer fresh leadership for the now-emerging civil rights movement, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, elected him president in 1957.

He borrowed Gandhi’s operating methods and Christianity’s guiding principles for this organization. King appeared everywhere there was injustice, protest, and action over the eleven years between 1957 and 1968, traveling more than six million miles and giving over 250 speeches.

In the meantime, he produced five books and a plethora of articles. He provided what he called a coalition of conscience during these years, leading a major protest in Birmingham, Alabama, that attracted the attention of the entire world and informing his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” a Negro revolution manifesto.

Hhe organized voter registration drives in Alabama; he oversaw the 250,000-person peaceful march on Washington, D.C.; he met with President John F. Kennedy; he ran for president Lyndon B. Johnson; he was arrested up to twenty times; he was assaulted at least four times; he was given five honorary degrees;

Martin Luther King Jr. was the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, receiving it at the age of 35. He declared that he will donate the $54,123 award money to the advancement of the civil rights movement after learning of his selection.

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. (Martin Luther King Jr Biography)

A selection of references

  • Great Negroes Past and Present, Russell Adams, pp. 106–107. Afro-Am Publishing Co., Chicago, 1963.
  • What Manner of Man: A Biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Lerone Bennett, Jr. Chicago: Johnson, 1964.
  • I Have a Dream: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Biography in Words and Pictures. Time-Life Books, New York, 1968.
  • Martin Luther King Jr.’s book The Measure of a Man. The Christian Education Press, Philadelphia, 1959 Two addresses of devotion.
  • Martin Luther King Jr.’s book, Strength to Love Harper & Row, New York, 1963 sixteen sermons as well as the “Pilgrimage to Nonviolence” essay.
  • Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story by Martin Luther King, Jr. Harper, New York, 1958
  • The Trumpet of Conscience by Martin Luther King Jr. Harper & Row, New York, 1968
  • Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? by Martin Luther King Jr. Harper & Row, New York, 1967
  • Why We Can’t-Wait by Martin Luther King Jr. Harper & Row, New York, 1963
  • Time, 83 (January 3, 1964), 13–16; 25–27, “Man of the Year.”
  • “Martin Luther King, Jr.” in Charles Moritz’s Current Biography Yearbook 1965, pp. 220–223. Wilson, H.W., in New York.
  • Crusader without Violence: A Biography of Martin Luther King, Jr., by Lawrence D. Reddick, New York: Harper, 1959

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