Martin Luther King,Jr. (January 15th 1929-April 4th 1968) was a leader in the American Civil rights movement. King was a Babtist minister, one of the few leadership roles available to black men at th time. He became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-1956) and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (1957), serving as its first president. His efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his “I have a dream” speech. There he raised public consciousness of the civil rights movement and established himself as one of the greatest orators in U.S History.


In 1964 King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other non-violent means. By the time of his death in 1968 he had refocused his efforts on ending poverty and opposing the Vietnam war, both from a religious perspective.


King was assassinated on April 4th 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Jimmy Carter in 1977. Martin Luther King, Jr Day was established as a national holiday in the United States in 1986. In 2004 King was posthumously awarded a Congressional Gold Medal.