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Dexter Scott King, son of Martin Luther King, Jr., dies at 62

“Dexter King 1999" by John Mathew Smith & from Laurel Maryland, USA is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

“Dexter King 1999" by John Mathew Smith is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Dexter Scott King, the youngest son of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Coretta Scott King, passed away on 22 January 2024. Born 30 January 1961, Dexter was the Kings’ third child and named for Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, where King held his first pastorate. As a young boy, Dexter accompanied his father on the 1966 James Meredith March Against Fear, a people-to-people tour across Georgia, and other short trips. Alongside his mother and siblings, the seven-year-old Dexter participated in demonstrations for the Poor People’s Campaign in the immediate aftermath of King’s 1968 assassination. 

As a young man, Dexter attended Morehouse College and earned a degree in business administration. He later served as the CEO, chairman, and president of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (, a resource center, archive, and memorial dedicated to promoting his father’s legacy. As president of Intellectual Properties Management, Dexter also oversaw the copyright and licensing of King’s works. 

Outside of his work with the King Estate, Dexter followed creative pursuits such as photography, acting, and producing films, records, and television programs. These included the Emmy-nominated movie “Our Friend Martin” and “The Rosa Parks Story,” in which Dexter portrayed his father. A dedicated vegan, Dexter was an activist for animal rights, which he perceived as a natural extension of King’s philosophy of nonviolence. In 2013, he married Leah Weber, and the couple resided in Malibu, California. 

Dexter concluded his 2003 memoir, Growing Up King, with a poignant dream: “I hear my father’s voice inside the waters. He walks with me and he talks with me and he tells me I am his own, and the joy we share as we fade into memory, none other has ever known. We plot a course in the Promised Land.” 

The King Institute extends our heartfelt condolences to Dexter King's family and friends. 

To learn more about Dexter, check out our encyclopedia entry

Dexter King’s obituary can be found here.