The youngest son and third child of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dexter King has died, the King Center announced. The civil rights leader’s youngest son, 62, died Jan. 22 following a battle with prostate cancer. Born in Atlanta, Dexter would have celebrated his 63rd birthday on Jan. 30. He was named after Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, where his father served his first pastorate.
In a statement, The King Center stated that the second-born son of Dr. and Mrs. King “was the family member delegated to take on the mantel of continuing the precedent his father set by legally protecting his work. He devoted his life to the continued perpetuation of his father’s legacy and the protection of the intellectual property (IP) his father left behind. At the time of his death Dexter served as both Chairman of The King Center and President of the King Estate. Becoming well versed in intellectual property law, and its management and licensing was the result of his dedication to the delegated task and the memory of both his father and mother.”
The statement goes onto to say, “He was preceded in death by his father (1968), his mother (2006) and sister Yolanda (2007). He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 11 years Leah Weber King, his sister Rev. Dr. Bernice A. King, his brother Martin Luther King, III, his niece, Yolanda Renee King and a host of immediate and extended family members.
The King family will respond to media inquiries following a press conference planned for Tuesday January 23rd, at 10:00 am ET, at The King Center’s Yolanda D. King Theatre inside Freedom Hall. A memorial service will be announced at a later time.
At the time of his death, Dexter served as both Chairman of The King Center and President of the King Estate.