Martin Luther King Jr., more commonly known as Martin Luther King, born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15, 1929, and murdered on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee, is an Afro-American pastor, Baptist, and nonviolent activist. King remains as one of the greatest leader of the American civil rights movement and a fervent activist for peace.
He organized and led actions such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott to defend the right to vote, desegregation and employment of ethnic minorities.
He gave a famous speech on August 28, 1963 in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. during the march for employment and freedom: it was called “I have a dream”. This speech is supported by John Fitzgerald Kennedy in the fight against racial segregation in the United States; President Lyndon B. Johnson by tireless pleading with members of Congress will succeed in passing various federal laws such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1968 legally putting an end to all forms of racial segregation throughout the United States.
Martin Luther King became the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his nonviolent struggle against racial segregation and for peace. He then begins a campaign against the Vietnam War and poverty, which ends in 1968 with his assassination officially attributed to James Earl Ray, whose guilt and participation in a conspiracy are still debated.
King was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Jimmy Carter in 1977, the United Nations Human Rights Prize in 1978, the Congressional Gold Medal in 2004, and is considered one of the greatest American in history.
Since 1986, Martin Luther King Day has been a public holiday in the United States. Two Martin Luther King centers for nonviolent action exist, one in Switzerland in Lausanne and the other in Atlanta. Many other monuments (museums, schools) are listed under the name of Martin Luther King all over the world.