Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a leader of humanitarian rights that extended further than the civil rights movement. He refused to allow prison, violence or the threat of death to sway or deter his goal of achieving rights for all through nonviolent protests.

Dr. King envisioned a diverse America where all people enjoyed the benefits of equality during a time when federal and state legislation withheld rights and mistreated people of color. He challenged America to dream of a better society and used non-violence to show how best to effect change.

But did you know….

1. His was born Michael, not Martin.
He was born Michael King Jr. on January 15, 1929. His father, a Baptist minister, was inspired by a Protestant leader Martin Luther after a visit to Germany. He not only changed his name to Martin Luther King, but that of his 5 year old son, Martin Luther King, Jr.

2. His first job was in the Newspaper industry.
Dr. King had a newspaper route from a young boy. He was so successful with his route that he was promoted to assistant manager at the Atlanta Journal delivery station by the age of 13.

3. Dr. King entered college at the age of 15.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an extremely bright student who actually skipped high school and enrolled at Morehouse College at 15. He did not actually intend to follow in the family business of ministry but changed his mind after enrolling in college.

4. He was the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

At the age of 35, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was award the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts towards establishing civil rights, his use of non-violence, and propelling U.S. legislation to making discrimination unlawful. He was the youngest male to ever receive this award. (The youngest person to ever receive the prize to date would be female activist Malala Yousfazi.)

For his award, he received approximately $54K which went back into his civil rights efforts.

5. Dr. King was a Grammy Award winner.
One of his most controversial speeches entitled “Why I am Opposed to the War in Vietnam” was recorded as a record, and earned Dr. King a Grammy for the Best Spoken Word Album.

6. George Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr. are the only two Americans to have a holiday named after them.

President Reagan signed a bill in 1983 creating a federal holiday to honor Dr. King. The holiday, was initially observed in 1986 and always is celebrated on the third Monday in January.