Hill, an Atlanta Life Insurance Company actuary, collected donations from fellow workers and sent them to the MIA through his company’s Montgomery office.1
Mr. Jesse Hill, Jr.
Atlanta Life Insurance Company
148 Auburn Avenue, N.E.
Atlanta 1, Georgia
Dear Mr. Hill:
This is to acknowledge the tremendous contribution you and the very fine people connected with your organization have made.
Mr. McHaney forwarded a total of $1,019.37 to this office to be used in our struggle for justice in the present situation here in Montgomery. Please know that we are deeply grateful and will long remember your coming to our aid. We are enclosing a receipt to cover this amount. Please express our gratitude to all person responsible for this wonderful contribution.
M. L. King, Jr.,
enc. 1 receipt for $1,019.87
(Dictated by Rev. King but transcribed in his absence.)
1.On 22 May the company secretary, E. M. Martin, forwarded to King a letter to King, Sr., “congratulating you and Mrs. King on contributing such a noble son to the cause of practical freedom and Democracy.” Jesse Hill, Jr. (1929-), horn in St. Louis, Missouri, received his B.S. (1947) from Lincoln University in Jefferson City and an M.B.A. (1949) from the University of Michigan. He was the second African American to be licensed as an actuary in the United States. During the 1950s Hill served as chairman of Atlanta’s All-Citizens Registration Committee, and, as a member of the Atlanta Committee for Cooperative Action, he helped integrate Georgia’s high schools and universities. Hill chaired Andrew Young’s successful 1972 campaign for Congress and Maynard H. Jackson’s successful 1973 campaign for mayor of Atlanta. He later became president of Atlanta Life Insurance Company, one of the nation’s oldest and largest black-owned businesses. Hill also served as chair of the board of directors of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Center for Social Change, Inc.
MLKP-MBU, Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers, 1954-1968, Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, Boston University, Boston, Mass.