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10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Martin Luther King Jr.

Photo: Julian Wasser

Today, we honor and celebrate the life and legacy of one of America’s most revered and influential leaders: Martin Luther King Jr. As a central figure in the Civil Rights Movement, King fought tirelessly for the rights of Black Americans- and left an indelible mark on our country. But even for such a well known figure, there are still things many of us don’t know about King and his life. So we’re diving deep into his biography- and sharing 10 things you probably didn’t know about Martin Luther King Jr.



To learn even more about MLK, visit our post Martin Luther King Jr Day: How You Can Honor His Legacy.

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About
Martin Luther King Jr.

Photo: Marion S. Trikosko, News & World Report, Library of Congress

1. King was born Michael Luther King. He was renamed Martin when he was 6 years old.


2. His Birthday, January 15th, is the reason we celebrate MLK Day on the 3rd Monday in January.


3. He graduated from Morehouse College in 1948 – when he was just 19 years old. 


4. Inspired by leader Mahatma Gandhi and his practice of civil disobedience against the British occupation, King visited India in 1959.


5. He was arrested 29 times for protesting, demonstrating, disobeying police orders, and once for or driving 30 mph in a 25 mile-per-hour zone.


Photo: Associated Press

6. King wrote 5 books, and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.


7. King and his wife, Coretta, had 4 children: Yolanda, Martin III, Dexter & Bernice and 1 grandchild, Yolanda Renee.


8. He gave over 2,500 public speeches during his lifetime, many without notes.


9. There are 955 Martin Luther King Jr Streets in the US, located in 41 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.


10. If he was still alive today, MLK would be 94 years old.