Martin Luther King Jr. (born Michael King Jr.; January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesman and leader in the civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassinationin 1968. An African American church leader and the son of early civil rights activist and minister Martin Luther King Sr., King advanced civil rights for people of color in the United States through nonviolence and civil disobedience. Inspired by his Christian beliefs and the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi, he led targeted, nonviolent resistance against Jim Crow and other forms of discrimination.

Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., never backed down in his stand against racism. Learn more about the life of this courageous hero who inspired millions of people to right a historical wrong.

Place of Birth

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1929. At the time in that part of the country, segregation—or the separation of races in places like schools, buses, and restaurants—was the law. He experienced racial predjudice from the time he was very young, which inspired him to dedicate his life to achieving equality and justice for Americans of all colors. King believed that peaceful refusal to obey unjust law was the best way to bring about social change.

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