The son of a baptist minister, he only wanted to follow in his father's footsteps but ended up changing the world. While serving as a minister in Montgomery, Alabama, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. became the leading spokesman for the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955. He then established the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to coordinate civil rights activities in the South.
Nonviolence was the governing principle. Dr. King said, "We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love." His philosophy of nonviolence soon spread to other acts of social protest, including activities like sit-ins, voter registration drives and a huge march on Washington that earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
Four years later, on April 4, James Earl Ray assassinated King as stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.