“Martin Luther King Jr. (born Michael King Jr., January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American Baptist minister and activist who was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs.
King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, serving as its first president. With the SCLC, King led an unsuccessful 1962 struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia, and helped organize the 1963 nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Alabama. King also helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.
On October 14, 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. In 1965, he helped to organize the Selma to Montgomery marches, and the following year he and SCLC took the movement north to Chicago to work on segregated housing. In the final years of his life, King expanded his focus to include opposition towards poverty and the Vietnam War, alienating many of his liberal allies with a 1967 speech titled “Beyond Vietnam.”
In 1968, King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., to be called the Poor People’s Campaign, when he was assassinated by James Earl Ray on April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee. King’s death was followed by riots in many U.S. cities. Ray, who fled the country, was arrested two months later at London Heathrow Airport.
King was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established as a holiday in numerous cities and states beginning in 1971, and as a U.S. federal holiday in 1986. Hundreds of streets in the U.S. have been renamed in his honor, and a county in Washington State was also renamed for him. The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was dedicated in 2011.”
Bio was taken from here.
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- Strength to Love. New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1963.
- Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story. New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1958.
- The Trumpet of Conscience. New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1968. (Foreword by Coretta Scott King.)
- Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1967.
- Why We Can’t Wait. New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1963.
Books of MLK’s Writing
- Carson, Clayborne and Shepard, Kris (editors). A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. New York: Warner Books, 2001.
- A Testament of Hope. San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1986. The Words of Martin Luther King, Jr. New York: Newmarket Press, 1983
Carson, Clayborne and Holloran, Peter (editors).
- A Knock At Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., New York: IPM in Association with Warner Books, 1998.
- Carson, Clayborne (editor). The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. New York: IPM in Association with Warner Books, 1998.
- The King Papers – Volumes 1-6 (with more volumes forthcoming), University of California Press.