MLK's Youngest Son Is Dead at 62

Dexter Scott King had prostate cancer
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 22, 2024 1:53 PM CST
MLK's Youngest Son Is Dead at 62
This 1966 file photo is the last official portrait of the King family, made in the study of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. From left are Dexter King, Yolanda King, Martin Luther King Jr., Bernice King, Coretta Scott King, and Martin Luther King III.   (Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, File)

Dexter Scott King, the youngest son of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, has died after battling prostate cancer, per the AP. The King Center in Atlanta, which Dexter King served as chairman, said the 62-year-old son of the civil rights icon died at his home in Malibu, California. His wife, Leah Weber King, said in a statement that he died "peacefully in his sleep." The third of the Kings' four children, Dexter King was named for the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, where his father first served as a pastor. He was just 7 years old when his father was assassinated in 1968.

As an adult, Dexter King became an attorney and focused on shepherding his father's legacy and protecting the King family's intellectual property. In addition to serving as chairman of the King Center, he was also president of the King estate. "Words cannot express the heart break I feel from losing another sibling," the Rev. Bernice A. King, Dexter King's youngest sibling, said in a statement. Coretta Scott King died in 2006, followed by the Kings' oldest child Yolanda King in 2007. "The sudden shock is devastating," said his older brother, Martin Luther King III. "It is hard to have the right words at a moment like this."

(More Martin Luther King Jr. stories.)

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