Born in Atlanta Georgia in 1929, his words, his work, and his passion for social justice created a movement like no other. His father and brother were Baptist ministers; hence Martin Luther King's purpose was always governed through faith. Graduating at 15, he devoted three years to theological studies at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania. He earned his graduate degree at a college in Boston, during which time he met Coretta Scott, whom he later married and had four children with. Coretta was also an active advocate for African-American equality, as well as an American author and civil rights leader alongside her husband. Martin Luther King settled with his family in Montgomery, Alabama, where his voice within the Civil Rights Movement first came to fruition.

Civil Rights Movement

It was in 1955 that Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus for a white man. This incident ameliorated the Civil Rights Movement. It was King's know-how and position in the community that led him to lead the 381 day boycott of city buses. December 20th gave birth to a precedent that could have only been executed with the grit and influence this man held. It was alleged by the Supreme Court of Justice that from that day forward, segregation on buses would be deemed unconstitutional. Undeniably, this was a noble victory for the Civil Rights Movement, demonstrating how non-violent protests were just as impactful and result-worthy.

The success made him a national hero of civil rights, however, the responsibly came at a cost. He was jailed over 20 times, stabbed in the chest, and his house was bombed.

Martin Luther King and his family relentlessly suffered personal attacks. In the quest for world peace and equality, he endured opposition and became the target of one violent battle after another.

King and his family made clear that they were willing to give up their lives for freedom. From 1957 to 1968 he travelled 6 million miles, delivered 25 million speeches, and wrote 5 books and thousands of articles. It was his unstoppable compassion and ability to communicate that made him a highly revered personality. From all the upheaval he generated there was only one timeless beauty, "I Have a Dream [VIDEO]," a speech symbolically delivered from the Lincoln Memorial in front of 250,000 people, both black and white. His message resonated eternally with the nation. It was in 1964 when his achievements were truly recognized, as he won the Nobel Peace Prize.

In April 1968 he travelled to Memphis, in aid of defending the rights of garbage workers, where he delivered his final speech, "I've Been to the Mountaintop." On the second floor balcony of The Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where he was residing, King was assassinated.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

In 1983 Ronald Regan declared the 3rd Monday of every January, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, to celebrate his legacy and all that he epitomizes. That brings us to today. In the turmoil of living under the presidency that contradicts the teachings of this fearless front-runner, we must live by his words: "Let us not quench our thirst for freedom by drinking out of the cup of bitterness and hatred."

Today, three decades later, the nation is rejoicing and is still enamored by all that he stood for. Celebrations are being held at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore, seven different events are being held in Chicago, and ceremonies at the Apollo Theatre in New York, as well as various other locations. According to CNN news, King's daughter, Bernice King, tweeted, "Today, we commemorate my father's 89th birthday. Beyond sharing #MLK quotes, I pray that our global community, from educators to politicians to artists to law enforcement, will truly hear his voice, follow his teachings and demonstrate his love for humanity."