King Sr., died at the Crawford W. Long Hospital in Atlanta, Ga., from a heart attack. Martin Luther King, Sr. was a Baptist pastor, missionary, and an early leader in the American Civil Rights Movement. He was also the father of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot and killed in 1968. King Sr’s youngest son, Alfred Daniel Williams King, died of an accidental drowning on July 21, 1969, 9 days before his 39th birthday.
King Sr.’s wife Alberta, was murdered in June 1974. She was sitting at the organ of their church when she was shot. King Sr. continued to serve as pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church until 1975.
In 1969, King Sr. was one of several members of the Morehouse College board of trustees held hostage on the campus by a group of students demanding reform in the school’s curriculum and governance. One of the students was Samuel L. Jackson, who was suspended for his actions. Jackson subsequently became an actor and Academy Award nominee.
King Sr. played a notable role in the nomination of Jimmy Carter as the Democratic candidate for President in the 1976 election. After Carter’s success in the Iowa caucus, the New Hampshire primary and the Florida primary, some liberal Democrats were worried about his success and began an “ABC” (“Anyone But Carter”) movement to try to head off his nomination.
King Sr. pointed to Carter’s leadership in ending the era of segregation in GA, and helping to repeal laws ending voting restrictions that especially affected disenfranchised African Americans. With King’s support, Carter continued to build a coalition of black and white voters and win the nomination. King Sr. delivered the invocation at the 1976 and 1980 Democratic National Conventions.
King, Sr. was also a member of Omega Psi Phi.
Read more about Martin King, Sr., at: Daily Black History Facts