Martin Luther King, JR. (January 15th 1929 - April 4th 1968) was an American pastor, activist and prominent leader in the African American civil right movement.
His mail legacy is securing progress on civil rights in the United States. In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial discrimination.
By the time of his death in 1968, he refocused his efforts on ending poverty and the Vietnam War, both from a religious perspective.
In 19968 Martin Luther King was shot dead in the Southern US city of Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead a march of sanitation workers protesting against low pay and poor working conditions.
He was shot in the neck as he stood on a hotel balcony and dies in hospital soon afterwards.
Police in Memphis were pit on alert for a "well - dressed" white man who is said to have dropped an automatic rifle after shooting and escaped in a blue car.
King, 39 at the time, had previously survived the bombing of his own home in 1956.
Martin Luther King, Jr. day was established as a US national holiday in 1986