Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) was a Baptist minister and social activist who played a key role in the American civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968. Inspired by advocates of nonviolence such as Mahatma Gandhi.
King sought equality for African Americans, the economically disadvantaged and victims of injustice through peaceful protest. He was the driving force behind watershed events such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the March on Washington, which helped bring about such landmark legislation as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and is remembered each year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a U.S. federal holiday since 1986. (MLK day is held on the third Monday of January which is near his Birthday January 15th 1929)