Martin Luther King Jr.’s Son Dead at 62

( – Martin Luther King Jr.’s son, Dexter Scott King, died on January 22 at 62 years old after a battle with prostate cancer. Atlanta’s King Center, which Dexter King served as chairman, said in a statement that the son of the civil rights leader died at his house in Malibu, California. His wife, Leah Weber, expressed in a family statement that Dexter King died peacefully while sleeping.

In the same statement, Dexter’s older brother, Martin Luther King III, said that his death had been “devastating” for the whole family and explained that it was difficult to find “the right words” in such a painful moment. He also asked everyone to pray for the King family.

Dexter King, who was the third of the civil rights icon’s four children, was named for Alabama’s Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, which was the place where his father served as a local pastor. Dexter King was only seven years old when James Earl Ray killed his father in April 1968.

Reverend Al Sharpton said that, after his father’s assassination, Dexter King turned his pain into activism and dedicated the rest of his life to advancing Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream. Sharpton added that he will always be remembered, noting that “Dexter left us far too soon.”

Meanwhile, US Senator Raphael Warnock said in another statement that he prayed with the King family after the “tragedy,” extending his condolences and “solidarity” to them during this time of grief and remembrance. Warnock is currently a senior pastor in the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where the civil rights icon used to preach.

In his 2004 autobiographical book titled Growing Up King, Dexter King said that his father’s death had a massive impact not only on his childhood but also on the rest of his life. Back in 2002, he portrayed his father in a TV movie about legendary activist Rosa Parks, who was portrayed by Angela Bassett.

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