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Martin Luther King Jr.’s son Dexter Scott King, 62, dies one week after late father’s birthday

Martin Luther King Jr.’s son Dexter Scott King, 62, dies one week after late father’s birthday
Martin Luther King Jr.’s son Dexter Scott King, 62, dies one week after late father’s birthday


Dexter Scott King, a civil rights activist like his legendary father Martin Luther King Jr., has died. He was 62.

The youngest of Mr. King’s two sons with wife Coretta Scott King, he carried on his father’s legacy through his work with the Center for Nonviolent Social Change, which is known as The King Center, and as president of the King estate.

King died from prostate cancer, according to The King Center. His wife Leah Weber King, who he married in 2013, said in a statement: “He transitioned peacefully in his sleep at home with me in Malibu,” adding: “He gave it everything and battled this terrible disease until the end. As with all the challenges in his life, he faced this hurdle with bravery and might.”

WATCH: Remembering Martin Luther King Jr. 50 Years On

In the 15 years that MLK was married to Mrs. King, the two welcomed four children together. Their first daughter, Yolanda King, was born in 1955, though passed away aged 51 in 2007, one year after her mother’s death. The Kings also welcomed Martin Luther King III, 66, in 1957, and Bernice King, 60, in 1963.

His surviving two siblings paid tribute to their brother through statements shared by ABC News.

Writing of the “devastating” and “sudden” passing of his younger brother, King III wrote: “It is hard to have the right words at a moment like this. We ask for your prayers at this time for the entire King family.”

© Getty
The late civil rights icon with his wife and three eldest kids in 1962

His younger sister Bernice stated: “Words cannot express the heartbreak I feel from losing another sibling. I’m praying for strength to get through this very difficult time.”

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King was only seven years old when his father was assassinated aged 39 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968 by James Earl Ray. The former motel is now the site of the National Civil Rights Museum.

Coretta Scott King, and his children Martin Luther King III, Dexter King and Bernice King at the funeral of assassinated civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, 9th April 1968© Getty
The King family at MLK’s 1968 funeral in Atlanta, GA

In the 1980s, he graduated from Morehouse College, a historically Black college for men in Atlanta, Georgia, and his father’s alma mater.

Beyond his work in civil rights advocacy, King was also a dedicated vegan. Moreover, in 2002, he portrayed his father in the television movie The Rosa Parks Story, which starred Oscar-winner Angela Bassett as the fellow civil rights icon, and earned several awards from the NAACP.

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