MLK Jr.’s Son Passes Away at 62

( – Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. had four children. Dexter Scott King was his third child, and he went on to follow in his father’s footsteps. Unfortunately, he recently lost his battle with cancer.

On January 22, King passed away in his sleep at his home in Malibu, California, just eight days before his 63rd birthday. The King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, where King served as the longtime chairman, revealed he died of prostate cancer.

King was born in 1961. His parents, Coretta Scott King, and the reverend, named him after the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. That’s where his father served as a pastor during the Montgomery bus boycott after the 1955 arrest of Rosa Parks, a black woman who refused to move to the back of a city bus so a white person could sit up front. The boycott thrust the older King into the spotlight.

Dexter King was only seven years old when his father was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968. The Associated Press published a statement from Rev. Al Sharpton who said King turned the pain from his father’s murder “into activism […] and dedicated his life to advancing the dream” his parents had for their kids.

In addition to serving as the chairman of the foundation his mom started, King also managed the King Estate. He had control over the family’s intellectual property. That sometimes led to bitter arguments with his siblings that landed them in court more than once.

The last time the siblings battled it out was over their father’s Nobel Peace Prize. Dexter King wanted to sell the medal in 2014. Bernice King objected, and the two ended up in court. Former President Jimmy Carter served as a mediator and helped the family settle the dispute in 2016. The medal and their father’s traveling Bible, which was used during former President Barack Obama’s second inauguration, were turned over to the brothers.

Dexter King is survived by his wife, Leah Weber, his siblings, and various family members.

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