How Old Would Martin Luther King Be Today? The Civil Rights Icon

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How Old Would Martin Luther King Be Today

How old would Martin Luther King be today if he were still alive? Furthermore, how would the civil rights icon react to the America of today? Will he be impressed or disappointed? 

Luther’s quotes and fight for justice in America decades ago are still felt in our societies today. He was a fearless preacher and civil rights activist who fought against injustice in America. 

We’ll discuss King’s age today, what he did for human rights and more. Read for more information. 

How Old Would Martin Luther King Be Today?

Martin Luther King was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta. So, he will be 94 years old in 2023. January 15, 2023, would have been his 94th birthday.

Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister and leader in the civil rights movement in America in 1954. He was assassinated in 1968, but until his death, King achieved several remarkable feats via his civil rights activism. Like his father, King Jr. advanced civil rights in America via non-violent means or civil disobedience.  

We’re going to discuss more on the life of Martin Luther King Jr. So, keep reading for more details. 

What Was Martin Luther King’s Childhood Like? 

King Jr. was born when racism was in full swing across America. There was widespread segregation between whites and blacks. 

King Jr. had a proper upbringing. His father, Reverend Martin Luther King Sr., was a Baptist preacher. His mother, Alberta Williams King, was a pianist.    

He lived with his parents, grandparents, and two siblings, Alfred Daniel Williams and Christine King. So, he was always around his family from childhood. 

People don’t speak about Martin Luther King Sr. as much as King Jr., But the truth is Martin Luther King Sr. had a massive influence on his son’s life. 

King Sr. led a series of protests over the segregation experienced in the South. And all his protests were peaceful. He never encouraged civil disobedience, a trait King Jr. followed keenly. 

Martin Luther King Sr. was a dynamic personality with a strong physical presence. He balanced his charming and calm personality with self-confidence and courage. 

King Jr. and his siblings enjoy playing football, baseball and doing odd jobs. They also learned how to play the piano from their gentle and charming mother. 

A Handy Tip: Martin was not his original name. Rather, he was called Michael King Jr.  

Did King Jr’s plan to become an activist? No, he wasn’t thinking of becoming an activist, even though he saw his father fight for justice occasionally. 

King Jr. was a paper boy and wanted to become a fireman when he grew up. His father was in charge of his moral and religious education, a job he did so well. When you have a father who hates discrimination and isn’t afraid to fight for justice, there is a chance one might tow the same line in the future. 

Martin Luther King Jr. was born when the segregation between whites and blacks in certain parts of America was unbelievable. It was so intense that when a black family entered a restaurant, they had to sit in a different corner. 

When a black family goes into a movie theater, they sit at the back seat. Black people also had separate restrooms. That was how tough the segregation between whites and blacks was back then. But King Jr. was just a young boy then and didn’t understand what was happening. 

King Jr. didn’t understand the Jim Crow Laws, which was the law separating whites from blacks. He had to live by them as a child. 

King Jr. later grew up to become one of the greatest civil rights activists in history. No individual is more closely associated with the civil rights struggle in the mid-20th century than King Jr. 

Like his father, King Jr. adopted non-violent resistance to achieve justice. He fought for equal rights for black Americans, a movement that earned him a Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. 

His civil rights movements from the 1950s to the 1960s traversed the entire country in his quest for justice. King Jr. joined the civil rights movement during the 1955 bus boycotts. 

Unfortunately, he was assassinated in 1968. But even though he’s no more, Martin Luther King Jr. continues to inspire generations. 

What Important Thing Did Martin Luther King Do?

King fought an important battle that many Americans, especially people of color, are enjoying today. We have seen a black man become president and rule America for 8 years. In King Jr’s time, this wasn’t possible. 

From the first day of Martin Luther King Jr’s career, he has always advocated for black Americans’ civil rights. And how he went about it was remarkable. 

King Jr. never led any violent protests. He organized several protests and ensured they were all peaceful. He was a great orator and gave speeches that remain a strong motivation for future generations. 

Martin Luther King worked hard to ensure the passing of legislation in the United States that outlawed discrimination based on a person’s religion, race, color, and national origin. 

We cannot forget how hard he fought for the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was a game-changer in the political history of the United States of America. 

The Voting Right Act gave black Americans the right to vote and be voted for. America has now had a black president (Barack Obama), and black people occupy several political offices. 

The March on Washington in 1963 was also one of Martin Luther King Jr’s plans. He planned and executed it successfully. 

10 Surprising Facts About Martin Luther King Jr.

King Jr’s fight against poverty and inequality in America is still as relevant as when he was alive. The civil rights icon transformed America with his movements. His speech, “I Have a Dream,” is evergreen. 

Here are several facts about King Jr. 

1: King Jr. was arrested 29 times during his 13 years as a civil rights activist. He was arrested for misdemeanor and civil rights protest violations. 

2: Martin Luther King’s family paid Julia Roberts’ hospital bills upon birth. The Roberts and King Family became close after Julia’s parents accepted King Jr. children into acting school. 

Unfortunately, Julia Roberts’ parents could pay the hospital bills during her birth, but the King family came through for them. 

3: Dr. Luther King was assassinated at the age of 39. He was killed on April 4, 1968. King spent around 13 years fighting for racial equality and an end to poverty. And his achievements in those few years were remarkable. 

4: King Jr. entered college at 15. He didn’t finish 12th grade and passed through high school graduation. Rather, he got admitted into More College, where he studied sociology and earned a Bachelor’s degree. 

5: Besides George Washington, Martin Luther King is the only American whose birthday is a national holiday. 

6: Martin Luther King got his first job at 13. He worked for a newspaper called Atlanta Journal. King Jr’s work ethic was remarkable. He got promoted to the company’s delivery station’s assistant manager.

7: Dr. Martin Luther King’s original plan wasn’t to become a gospel minister. He never wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps. 

After college, he took a bible course with Dr. George D. Kelsey and was inspired to start a ministry like his father. He planned to use his ministry to pursue racial reforms and social justice. 

8: Dr. King Jr. got over 20 honorary degrees in his lifetime. He was awarded degrees from several prestigious colleges in America and other parts of the world. This includes schools like Yale University, Howard University, Wesleyan, and Bard College.  

 9: King’s first interaction with his wife, Coretta Scott, was over the phone. Martin was connected to Scott after he lamented to a friend that he had a year left to graduate and hadn’t met any woman he liked. His friend recommended that he speak to Coretta Scott. He did, and the rest was history. 

King Jr. and Coretta agreed to meet in person and kick-started their romance. He married Coretta on June 18, 1953, in Alabama. 

10: Following Dr. King’s death, his family filed a civil case against the United States government and won it. 

Would Martin Luther King Be Disappointed If He Was Alive Today?

The freedom and equality achieved in America today didn’t start overnight. It was possible because one man paid the ultimate price. 

Martin Luther King Jr. is a civil rights icon that will be remembered for generations. His quest for justice and approach continues to give many people in the world hope that they can seek justice via protests without violence. 

So, would he be proud today? Yes, he will. And here are the achievements he would be proud of. 

  • Voting rights have been expanded. Black Americans can now vote, and they can be voted for. 
  • A black man becoming the United States president. 
  • The number of black men and women with college education keeps increasing. 
  • The Supreme Court has had a black judge. 

The above achievements will make Dr. King Jr. happy, but let’s not pretend everything is okay. 

Prejudice still takes place at every stage of the criminal justice system. Prisons comprise 60% blacks and Hispanic. Racial prejudice in the workplace, especially during hiring, still exists. 


So, how old would Martin Luther King be today? Dr. King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, so January 15, 2023, would have been his 94th birthday.  

The civil rights icon left an indelible mark in the fight for racial equality and social justice. He used his platform as a preacher to request equal rights for black Americans.

Dr. King was assassinated at 39, but before his death, he achieved tremendous results in his fight against racism and discrimination nationwide. 

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Susan Tapia is an ambitious, savvy news writer with a vibrant personality and an eye for detail. She is highly experienced in crafting compelling stories and dedicated to seeking out the truth. With her inquisitive nature, she delves deep into every subject she touches, uncovering unexpected facts that help her engage her readers. Susan has an unbridled passion for writing, and she strives to inspire others through her work. She confidently shares her thought-provoking ideas with enthusiasm and candor, making sure the world can see the truth no matter how uncomfortable it may be. Simply put, Susan Tapia is a trailblazer in the journalism industry who never fails to deliver her readers riveting stories they won't soon forget.

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