Martin Luther King Jr’s Youngest Son Dexter Scott King, Custodian of a Legacy, Passes Away at 62
Martin Luther King Jr’s Youngest Son Dexter Scott King, Custodian of a Legacy, Passes Away at 62

In a poignant announcement, The King Center revealed the passing of Dexter Scott King, the youngest son of the revered civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dexter, 62, succumbed to a brave battle against prostate cancer on January 22, leaving behind a legacy deeply rooted in the ongoing pursuit of his father’s dreams.

 

His spouse of 11 years and unwavering supporter, Leah Weber King, shared that Dexter Scott King transitioned peacefully in his sleep at their home in Malibu. “He gave it everything and battled this terrible disease until the end. As with all the challenges in his life, he faced this hurdle with bravery and might,” she expressed, marking the end of a valiant struggle.

Dexter’s sister, Rev. Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO of The King Center, expressed profound sorrow, stating, “Words cannot express the heartbreak I feel from losing another sibling. I’m praying for strength to get through this very difficult time.” His brother, Martin Luther King III, added, “The sudden shock is devastating. It is hard to have the right words at a moment like this. We ask for your prayers at this time for the entire King family.”

Born on January 30, 1961, in Atlanta, Dexter Scott King was named after Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, where his father began his pastoral journey. Tragically, at the tender age of seven, Dexter witnessed the assassination of his father in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1968. Growing up in Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, he followed in his father’s footsteps by attending Morehouse College.

 

Martin Luther King Jr’s Youngest Son Dexter Scott King, Custodian of a Legacy, Passes Away at 62
Dexter King, son of Martin Luther King Jr., speaks to the press outlining his family's plan for an interactive museum to be built at the MLK Center in Atlanta, Dec. 28, 1994.

Dexter Scott King, serving as Chairman of The King Center and President of the King Estate at the time of his passing, took on the responsibility of safeguarding his father’s intellectual property. Delving into intellectual property law, he dedicated his life to preserving and perpetuating his father’s legacy.

While Dexter possessed an uncanny resemblance to his father, he remained humble about it, even portraying Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 2002 television movie “The Rosa Parks Story.” Initially drawn to California to pursue a career in acting, Dexter eventually prioritized family duty, balancing his love for the arts with his commitment to the King family legacy.

In a private ceremony in July 2013, Dexter Scott King married Leah Weber, his best friend and partner of over two decades. Together, they built a life marked by love, support, and unwavering dedication, mirroring the enduring love story of Dexter’s parents.

Preceded in death by his father (1968), mother (2006), and sister Yolanda (2007), Dexter Scott King is survived by his wife Leah Weber King, his sister Rev. Dr. Bernice A. King, his brother Martin Luther King III, and his niece, Yolanda Renee King.

The King family has requested privacy during this difficult time and plans to address media inquiries during a press conference scheduled for Tuesday, January 23, at 10 a.m., at The King Center’s Yolanda D. King Theatre inside Freedom Hall. Details about a memorial service will be announced at a later time, as the world mourns the loss of a man who devoted his life to upholding the profound legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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