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King, Martin Luther, III

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October 23, 1957

Martin Luther King, III seated next to his father
Bob Fitch photography archive, © Stanford University Libraries

The first son of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King, III, was born 23 October 1957. He graduated from Morehouse College with a BA in political science. He is a popular speaker and a community activist with a special interest in programs that support young people. In 1986 he was elected to the Fulton County Board of Commissioners to represent more than 700,000 Georgia residents, but was defeated in his bid for the chairmanship of the Board in 1993.  Dedicated to expanding his father’s ideals, Martin was elected the fourth president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1997. He served until the end of 2003, leading marches, convening police brutality hearings, and organizing gun buy-back programs. In 2005, he told Ebony magazine, “My father’s views were unequivocal, and I have found them to be invaluable to me as guidelines for prayerful consideration of current events and issues” (“What Would King Do Now?”). 


King, III, “What Would King Do Now?” Ebony, January 2005.