Remembering the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.: A Short Biography

By Marlantes, Liz | The Christian Science Monitor, January 18, 2000 | Go to article overview

Remembering the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.: A Short Biography


Marlantes, Liz, The Christian Science Monitor


Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta on Jan. 15, 1929. His father and grandfather were both Baptist preachers and civil rights leaders (his grandfather, the Rev. A.D. Williams, founded Atlanta's NAACP chapter).

A motivated student, the young King entered Morehouse College, in Atlanta, at the age of 15. By his senior year, he had decided to enter the ministry, and he went on to spend the next three years at Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pa. At Crozer, he studied Mohandas Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolent protest, as well as Protestant theology.

After receiving his bachelor of divinity, Dr. King earned a PhD in systematic theology from Boston University. While in Boston, he met Coretta Scott, who was studying at the New England Conservatory of Music. They married in 1953, and had four children.

The Kings moved to Montgomery, Ala., in 1955, where King began his involvement in the civil rights movement.

On Dec. 5, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus, launching the Montgomery bus boycott. King was elected president of the Montgomery Improvement Association, dedicated to boycotting the transit system. …

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