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Martin Luther King, Jr.: The Civil Rights Icon’s Life in Pictures

The Baptist minister led the Civil Rights Movement by peacefully pursuing a vision of racial justice. He was assassinated in 1968.

The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. is shown speaking to an overflow crowd at a mass meeting at the Holt Street Baptist Church in 1955. Gene Herrick / AP
King relaxes at home in May 1956 in Montgomery, Alabama. Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images
King, accompanied by Rev. Ralph D. Abernathy, center, is booked by city police Lt. D.H. Lackey in Montgomery, Ala., on Feb. 23, 1956. The civil rights leaders were arrested on indictments turned by the grand jury in the bus boycott. Gene Herrick / AP
King's wife Coretta welcomes him with a kiss after leaving court in Montgomery, Ala., on March 22, 1956. King was found guilty of conspiracy to boycott city buses in a campaign to desegregate the bus system, but a judge suspended his $500 fine pending appeal. Gene Herrick / AP
King speaks to thousands who had made the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom to Washington, D.C., by the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall on May 17, 1957. The crowd was estimated at 25,000, making the pilgrimage the largest civil rights demonstration to date. Hulton Archive via Getty Images
King delivers a sermon on May 13, 1956 in Montgomery, Alabama. Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images
King and the Rev. Ralph Abernathy, both active in the long boycott of segregated buses in Montgomery, Ala., were among the first to ride after the Supreme Court's integration order went into effect, Dec. 21, 1956. At left, front seat, is the Rev. Ralph Abernathy, and King sits behind him. Harold Valentine / AP
A makeup artist puts a powder on King before a taping of NBC's "Meet the Press" in Washington, Aug. 13, 1957. Henry Burroughs / AP
Dr. W.G. Anderson (center) and King (second from right, foreground) join in signing farewell to about 40 Chicagoans who left for home after their release from jail in Albany, Ga., on Aug. 31, 1962. They were among 75 people, mostly clergymen, arrested for holding a prayer vigil in front of city hall in protest to segregation. Horace Cort / AP
King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, sit with three of their four children in their Atlanta home, on March 17, 1963. From left are: Martin Luther King III, 5, Dexter Scott, 2, and Yolanda Denise, 7. AP
Crowds fill the the Lincoln Memorial in Washington for King's "I Have A Dream" speech on Aug. 28, 1963. AP
King waves from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, 1963, as the throng assembled for the March on Washington stretches into the distance toward the Washington Monument. King delivered one of the most powerful and memorable addresses in American oratory, his "I Have a Dream" speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Hulton Archive via Getty Images
Leaders of the March on Washington stand with Sen. Everett Dirksen, R-Ill., center right, during a visit to the Capitol on Aug. 28, 1963. From left are Whitney Young, National Urban League; King, Southern Christian Leadership Conference; Roy Wilkins, NAACP, behind King; Walter Reuther, United Auto Workers president; Dirksen and John Lewis, Student Non Violent Coordinating Committee. AP
King photographed in 1964. Reg Lancaster / Express via Getty Images
King rides in the back seat of a police car with a police dog as he is returned to jail in St. Augustine, Fla., after testifying before a grand jury investigating racial unrest in the city, June 12, 1964. AP
President Lyndon B. Johnson hands a pen to the King after signing the historic Civil Rights Bill in the East Room of the White House, in Washington, on July 2, 1964. AFP - Getty Images
King and his wife, Coretta, arrive through the smoke and fire from hundreds of torches to deliver the traditional address at the University of Oslo Festival Hall, on Dec. 11, 1964 after winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Behind the reverend walks Rev. Ralph Abernathy, King's closest associate. AP
King, Jr. wipes perspiration from his neck at a news conference where he announced future plans for the integration move in St. Augustine, Fla., on June 17, 1964. King remarked, "It's hotter in more ways than one in St. Augustine." AP
King leads a group of ministers at the head of a group of nearly 1,000 who marched to the courthouse in a voter registration drive at Selma, Ala., on Feb. 15, 1965. AP
Registrar Carl Golson shakes a finger at King during meeting at the courthouse in Hayneyville, Ala. on Mar. 1, 1965. King inquired about voter registration procedures but Golson told him that if he was not a prospective voter in Lowndes county, "It's none of your business." King visited two nearby counties after leading a voter registration drive in Selma. Horace Cort / AP
King and associates lead a procession following the casket of Jimmy Lee Jackson during a funeral service in Marion, Ala. on March 1, 1965 file. In November 2010, former Alabama state trooper James Bonard Fowler pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter in the 1965 shooting of Jimmie Lee Jackson during a civil rights demonstration in Marion. From left are John Lewis, the Rev. Ralph Abernathy, King, and the Rev. Andrew Young. AP
King marches across the Alabama River on the first of a five day, 50-mile march to the state capitol at Montgomery, Ala., on March 21, 1965. AP
King chats with Greenwood family on their front porch during his door-to-door campaign, telling African-Americans to register to vote and support his Miss. Freedom Democratic party. King arrived on July 21, 1964 in Greenwood for the beginning of a 5-day tour of Mississippi towns. JAB / AP
King speaks in Eutaw, Alabama in June 1965. AP
King telephones aides during a stopover in Miami on Aug. 14, 1965. King was travelling to San Juan, Puerto Rico on a speaking engagement, and said he deplored the rioting in the black area of Los Angeles. Jim Bourdier / AP
King and his wife, Coretta, second from left, join pickets during a tour of an Atlanta area slum on Feb. 1, 1966. The two women carrying signs were protesting the arrest of Hector Black, a volunteer who was charged with trespassing while handing out blankets at an apartment in the area. AP
King, center, walks with famed pediatrician Dr. Benjamin Spock, second from left; Father Frederick Reed, third from right; and union leader Cleveland Robinson, second from right, on March 16, 1967, during an anti-Vietnam War demonstration in New York City. AFP - Getty Images
King with President Lyndon B. Johnson in the background March 18, 1966 at the White House. National Archives via Getty Images
King shakes hands with a group of girls after addressing a political rally in Lisman, Alabama on April 30, 1966. The girls held on to his hands and arms and aides had to help tug him free from the group. Lisman was one of nine stops in the Alabama Black Belt that Rev. King made in an effort to unify the African American vote in the upcoming Alabama primary election. Jack Thornell / AP
King is shoved back by Mississippi patrolmen during the 220-mile 'March Against Fear' from Memphis, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi on June 8, 1966. Underwood Archives via Getty Images
Dr. Benjamin Spock, and King lead a march against Vietnam in Chicago on March 25, 1967. Dr. Spock is co-chairman of the National Committee for Sane Nuclear Policy. AP
King tells a press conference that civil rights demonstrations in Chicago "...will be on a much more massive scale than last summer" in Chicago on March 24, 1967. Charles Harrity / AP
Outside the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn., on April 3, 1968, U.S. Marshal Cato Ellis, left, serves King and his aides with a temporary restraining order barring them from leading another march in Memphis without court approval. The order was aimed at stopping a national March on Memphis set for April 8 in support of city sanitation workers. Also present are top King aides, from left, the Rev. Ralph Abernathy, Andrew Young, James Orange and Bernard Lee. "We are not going to be stopped by Mace or injunctions," King said. Barney Sellers / Memphis Commercial Appeal
Hosea Williams, Jesse Jackson Jr., King and Abernathy stand on a balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis on April 3, 1968, after they had returned to the Lorraine to plan strategy for the next sanitation workers march. The next day, King would be shot dead on this balcony. AP
The family of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. walk in the funeral procession of the slain civil rights leader, in Atlanta on April 9, 1968. From left: daughter Yolanda, 12; King's brother A.D. King; daughter Bernice, 5; widow Coretta Scott King; Rev. Ralph Abernathy; sons Dexter, 7, and Martin Luther King III, 10. The New York Times via AP
Coretta Scott King and her daughter, Bernice, attend the funeral of her husband on April 9, 1968 in Atlanta. Moneta J. Sleet, Jr. / AP