Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Judge Could Rule in Dispute over MLK Bible and Nobel Medal; King's Heirs Battle Yet Again over Ownership, Sale of Treasured Items Owned by Civil Rights Leader

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Judge Could Rule in Dispute over MLK Bible and Nobel Medal; King's Heirs Battle Yet Again over Ownership, Sale of Treasured Items Owned by Civil Rights Leader

Article excerpt

ATLANTA * The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s traveling Bible hasn't gone on regular display since President Barack Obama used it while taking his second oath of office two years ago. The public hasn't seen the civil rights icon's 1964 Nobel Peace Prize medal in recent years, either.

Both relics reside in a safe deposit box, the keys held since March by an Atlanta judge presiding over the latest fight among King's heirs.

The Estate of Martin Luther King Jr. Inc., which is controlled by Martin Luther King III and his younger brother, Dexter Scott King, asked a judge a year ago to order their sister Bernice King to turn over their father's Nobel medal and traveling Bible. The brothers want to sell them to a private buyer.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney could decide the case at a hearing Tuesday or let it go to trial. He said when he ordered Bernice King to hand over the Bible and medal to the court's custody that it appeared likely the estate would win the case.

This is at least the fifth lawsuit between the siblings in the past decade, but this one crosses the line, Bernice King argued in February from the pulpit of historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where her father and grandfather preached. Her father cherished these two items, which speak to the very core of who he was, she said.

The Rev. Timothy McDonald, who served as assistant pastor at Ebenezer from 1978 to 1984 and sides with Bernice King but describes himself as a friend of the whole family, said: "You don't sell Bibles and you don't get but one Nobel Peace Prize. There are some items that you just don't put a price on."

The estate's lawyers have not responded to requests for comment from the King brothers. At a hearing last year, a lawyer who represented the estate at the time said they wanted to sell the two items because the estate needed the money. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.