Martin Luther King Jr. was perhaps the most famous civil rights activist of all time, the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize at the time he received it, a pastor and a speaker, but he was also a family man.
King met his wife, Coretta Scott in Boston, where he was working on his doctorate (Doctor of Philosophy in Systematic Theology) at Boston University. They were married on June 18, 1953 at her parents’ home in Alabama. Four children – two sons and two daughters – followed.
Yolanda Denise King was born on November 17, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama. The first of four King children, Yolanda grew up to be an actress and human rights activist, working not only with the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc., but also with Habitat for Humanity, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, the American Heart Association, the American Stroke Association, and the Human Rights Campaign. And, along with her mother, Yolanda King was also an activist for gay rights.
Yolanda King received a BA from Smith College, a Master’s degree from New York University, and an Honorary Doctorate from Marywood University. She passed away on May 15, 2007 at the age of 51.
Martin Luther King III, Martin Luther King Jr.’s eldest son, was born on October 23, 1957. By this time, the family had moved to Atlanta, GA, where Martin Luther King Jr. founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference along with Ralph Abernathy and other civil rights leaders, activists and pastors.
Martin Luther King III, following the footsteps of his father, grandfather and great-grandfather, attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, where he majored in Political Science and History.
MLK III is the only child of MLK Jr. to be married and have a child of his own. He married Arndrea Waters in May of 2006, and their first child, Yolanda Renee King, was born on May 25, 2008. Named after her late aunt, Yolanda Renee King is the only grandchild of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. Sadly, neither of them got to meet their granddaughter before Coretta or Martin died.
Dexter Scott King was born in Atlanta on January 30, 1961. He was named after the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church (in Montgomery, AL), where his father served as pastor before moving to Georgia. His middle name was his mother’s maiden name. Although he did not graduate, he also attended Morehouse College in Atlanta for a time, where he studied Business Administration. He is an actor, a documentary film maker, an animal rights activist, and a vegan.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s youngest daughter, Bernice Albertine King (born March 28, 1963), is the only one of his children to become a minister. Having graduated from Spelman College with a degree in Psychology, King went on to earn a Master’s of Divinity from the Candler School of Theology and a Doctorate of Law from Emory University School of Law. As of fall of 2010, she is the President and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. She is a member of the Georgia Bar and a minister at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, GA. Bernice King also works as a mediator, coordinating nonviolent conflict resolution conferences and women and family conferences.
How many children did Martin Luther King Jr. have with his wife Coretta Scott King? They had four, Yolanda, Martin, Dexter and Bernice – all different, but each having his or her own dream and working toward its achievement.