Dexter Scott King, son of Martin Luther King Jr, dies of cancer
ATLANTA — Dexter Scott King, the younger son of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr and Coretta Scott King, died on Monday after battling prostate cancer.
A news report from The Associated Press says The King Center in Atlanta, which Dexter King served as chairman, reported that the 62-year-old died at his home in Malibu, California. His wife, Leah Weber King, also confirmed in a statement that he died “peacefully in his sleep.”
The third of the Kings’ four children, Dexter King was reportedly named for the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, where his father served as a pastor when the Montgomery bus boycott launched him to national prominence in the wake of the 1955 arrest of Rosa Parks.
Dexter King was 7 years old when his father was assassinated in April 1968 while supporting striking sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee. It also said that in his 2004 memoir, “Growing Up King,” Dexter King recalled his father’s slaying as the end of a carefree childhood.
“Ever since I was seven, I’ve felt I must be formal,” he wrote, adding: “Formality, seriousness, certitude — all these are difficult poses to maintain, even if you’re a person with perfect equilibrium, with all the drama life throws at you.”
“Dexter King became an attorney and focused on shepherding his father’s legacy and protecting the King family’s intellectual property. In addition to serving as chairman of the King Center, he was also president of the King estate,” AP News cited. “In addition to his work with the King Center, Dexter King was known for the striking resemblance he bore to his father. They looked so much alike that the son ended up portraying his famous father in a 2002 TV movie about Parks.”