Izola Curry, a 42 year old black woman, stabbed MLK in Harlem. On September 20, 1958, Martin Luther King, Jr. was signing his newly-published book at a bookstore in Harlem, when Curr came up to him screaming and stabbed him in the chest with a letter opener.
The stabbing was quite severe, and if Martin Luther King, Jr. had made any certain movements, he might have died. In fact, the doctor, Doctor Maynard said to him,
"If you had sneezed during all those hours of waiting, your aorta would have been punctured and you would have drowned in your own blood."
However, he was rushed to the Harlem Hospital, where his life was saved. Curry was supposedly mentally ill, and King has been quoted as saying,
"I think she needs help. I'm not angry at her."
Certainly, his words show how peaceful and forgiving he truly was.
Allegedly, Curry had delusions about the National Association for the Advanced for Colored People and about King. When she saw King right before the stabbing, she announced "I've been looking for you for five years." She was indicted for attempted murder; however, they did eventually decide that she was mentally ill and she was sent away to the Matteawan State Hospital for the criminally insane.
Izola Curry was born in 1916, and after she went into the Matteawan State Hospital, reports of her became very hard to find. Whether she is actually dead or alive at this time is relatively unknown.