Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was born on January 15, 1929, at the family home in Atlanta, Georgia, to the Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr., and Alberta Williams King.

Martin Luther King, Jr., entered the Christian ministry and was ordained in February 1948 at the age of nineteen when he became the Assistant Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. In 1948, he graduated from Morehouse College with a degree in Sociology, then enrolled in Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania. In 1951, King began doctoral studies in Systematic Theology at Boston University.

In Boston, he met Coretta Scott, and they were married in 1953. Two sons and two daughters were born into the family. He earned his Ph.D. in 1955, and accepted the call of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, where he was the pastor until 1959. From 1960 until his death in 1968, he was copastor with his father at Ebenezer Baptist Church. In the eleven-year period between 1957 and 1968, King traveled over six million miles and spoke over twenty-five hundred times; and meanwhile he wrote five books as well as numerous articles.

Dr. King was arrested upwards of twenty times and assaulted at least four times; he was awarded five honorary degrees; was named Man of the Year by Time magazine in 1963; and became not only the symbolic leader of American blacks but also a world figure. At the age of thirty five, Martin Luther King, Jr., was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. When notified of his selection, he announced that he would turn over the prize money of $54,123 to the furtherance of the civil rights movement.

Dr. King was shot while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968. Dr. King was in Memphis to help lead sanitation workers in a protest against low wages and intolerable working conditions.

Dr. King’s funeral services were held April 9th, 1968, at Ebenezer Baptist Church and on the campus of Morehouse College. The President of the United States proclaimed a day of mourning with flags flown at half-staff. The area where Dr. King is entombed is located on Freedom Plaza and is surrounded by the Freedom Hall Complex of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Historical Site. The site’s 23-acre area is listed as a National Historical Landmark and a National Historic Site.