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Martin Luther King Jr was born on January 15 1929 in Atlanta Georgia to Alberta Williams King and Martin Luther King Sr Alberta Kings father was the minister at Ebenezer Baptist Church where Reverend King Sr and Reverend King Jr served as pa stors Martin Luther King Jr earned his BA degree at Morehouse College Atlanta Georgia a BD degree at Croser Theological Seminary Chester Pennsylvania and a PhD degree at Boston University Boston Massachusetts In 1954 Reverend King began his pastoral career at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery Alabama His involvement in the civil rights movement was the result of Mrs Rosa Parks refusal to give up her seat to a white person When the Montgomery Im provement Association was formed in December 1955 King was elected president of the association The United States Supreme Court decision declaring Alabama law segregation on buses illegal was the victory from which King emerged as a national hero and r esulted in the formation of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference He inspired people of all races and ethnic backgrounds to join in a peaceful nonviolent protest against segregation On August 29 1963 he made his most famous speech I Have a Dream at the Lincoln Memorial to an audience measured at that time to be the largest civil rights demonstration in the history of the United States King traveled numerous miles and made hundreds of speeches during the course of his quest for the dream of equality and freedom for all Americans especially African-Americans Universities awarded him honorary degrees and religious and civic organiza tions presented him medals and citations He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 Although he was not the first Negro to receive the Nobel Peace Prize at thirty-five years old he was the youngest man to receive the award The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated in Memphis Tennessee on April 4 1968 He left a widow Coretta Scott King
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