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Martin Luther King Jr January 151929-April 4 1968 was born Michael Luther King Jr but later had his name changed to Martin His grandfather began the familys long tenure as pastors of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta serving from 1914 to 1931 his father has served from then until the present and from 1960 until his death Martin Luther acted as co-pastor Martin Luther attended segregated public schools in Georgia graduating from high school at the age of fifteen he received the B A degree in 1948 from Morehouse College a distinguished Negro institution of Atlanta from which both his father and grandfather had been graduated After three years of theological study at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania where he was elected president of a predominantly white senior class he was awarded the BD in 1951 With a fellowship won at Crozer he enrolled in graduate studies at Boston University completing his residence for the doctorate in 1953 and receiving the degree in 1955 In Boston he met and married Coretta Scott a young woman of uncommon intellectual and artistic attainments Two sons and two daughters were born into the family In 1954 Martin Luther King accepted the pastorale of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery Alabama Always a strong worker for civil rights for members of his race King was by this time a member of the executive committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People the leading organization of its kind in the nation He was ready then early in December 1955 to accept the leadership of the first great Negro nonviolent demonstration of contemporary times in the United States the bus boycott described by Gunnar Jahn in his presentation speech in honor of the laureate The boycott lasted 382 days On December 21 1956 after the Supreme Court of the United States had declared unconstitutional the laws requiring segregation on buses Negroes and whites rode
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