About This Author

The Reverend
Martin Luther King Jr.

Portrait of King
King in 1964

1st President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference

In officeJanuary 10, 1957 – April 4, 1968

Preceded by

Office established

Succeeded by

Ralph Abernathy

Personal details

Born

Michael King Jr.
January 15, 1929Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.

Died

April 4, 1968Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.

Cause of death

Assassination

Resting place

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park

Nationality

American

Spouse

Coretta Scott

Children

  • Yolanda Denise King
  • Martin Luther King III
  • Dexter Scott King
  • Bernice Albertine King

Parents

  • Martin Luther King Sr.
  • Alberta Williams King

Relatives

  • Christine King Farris
  • Alfred Daniel Williams King
  • Alveda King

Alma mater

  • Morehouse College
  • Crozer Theological Seminary
  • Boston University

Occupation

Minister, activist

Known for

Civil rights movement, Peace movement

Awards

  • Nobel Peace Prize
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Congressional Gold Medal

Monuments

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

Signature

Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1954 until his assassination in 1968. Born in Atlanta, King is best known for advancing civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience, tactics his Christian beliefs and the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi helped inspire.

King led the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and in 1957 became the first president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference . With the SCLC, he led an unsuccessful 1962 struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia, and helped organize the nonviolent 1963 protests in Birmingham, Alabama. He also helped organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

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Discover Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes and Sayings

The sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

The sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

equality freedom
Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

faith
Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

faith
Darkness cannot drive out darkness only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate only love can do that. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate only love can do that.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

forgiveness love
Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor it must be demanded by the oppressed. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor it must be demanded by the oppressed.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

freedom
I just want to do God's will. And he's allowed me to go to the mountain. And I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land! I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

I just want to do God's will. And he's allowed me to go to the mountain. And I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land! I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

god
We will have to repent in this generation; not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

We will have to repent in this generation; not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

good
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

good history
The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: 'If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?' But... the good Samaritan reversed the question: 'If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?' - Martin Luther King, Jr.

The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: 'If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?' But... the good Samaritan reversed the question: 'If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?'

Martin Luther King, Jr.

good
The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

good
Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

good
I am not interested in power for power's sake, but I'm interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am not interested in power for power's sake, but I'm interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

good power
I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

great love
The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

great
One of the greatest casualties of the war in Vietnam is the Great Society... shot down on the battlefield of Vietnam. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

One of the greatest casualties of the war in Vietnam is the Great Society... shot down on the battlefield of Vietnam.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

great society war
We are not makers of history. We are made by history. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

We are not makers of history. We are made by history.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

history