Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Christian minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968.
Martin Luther King Jr. was an academic and minister who led the civil rights movement. After his murder, he was remembered by Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The King and Williams families had rural roots in Georgia. Martin Jr.’s grandfather, A.D. Williams, was a rural pastor for many years, then moved to Atlanta in 1893. He took over the small Ebenezer Baptist Church with about 13 members and made it a powerful congregation.
King attended Booker T. Washington High School, where he was said to have been an early pupil. He skipped both the ninth and eleventh grades and attended Morehouse College in Atlanta at age 15, in 1944. He was a popular student, especially with his classmates, but a demotivated student who fluctuated in his first two years.
King married Coretta Scott on June 18, 1953, on the lawn of her parents’ house in her hometown of Heiberger, Alabama. They became the parents of four children: Yolanda King (1955–2007), Martin Luther King III (b. 1957), Dexter Scott King (b. 1961), and Bernice King (Born 1963). During their marriage, King limited Coretta’s role in the civil rights movement, expecting her to become a housewife and mother.
King’s life had a seismic impact on race relations in the United States. Years after his death, he is the most widely known African American leader of his era. His life and work have been honored with a national holiday, schools and public buildings named after him, and a memorial on Independence Mall in Washington, D.C.