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Meet Amazing Americans Activists & Reformers Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr.

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Born: January 15, 1929
Died: April 4, 1968

Martin Luther King Jr. was the most important voice of the American civil rights movement, which worked for equal rights for all. He was famous for using nonviolent resistance to overcome injustice, and he never got tired of trying to end segregation laws (laws that prevented blacks from entering certain places, such as restaurants, hotels, and public schools). He also did all he could to make people realize that "all men are created equal." Because of his great work, in 1964 King received the Nobel Peace Prize -- the youngest person ever to receive this high honor. King was also a Baptist minister. He was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, when he was just 39 years old. His birthday is now observed as a national holiday on the third Monday in January.

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