Martin Luther King Jr. was born in 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia.
King, a Baptist minister and civil-rights activist, had a seismic impact on race relations in the United States, beginning in the mid-1950s.
Among his many efforts, King headed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Through his activism and inspirational speeches he played a pivotal role in ending the legal segregation of African-American citizens in the United States, as well as the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, among several other honors.
He was assassinated in April 1968, and continues to be remembered as one of the most influential and inspirational African-American leaders in history.