Dexter Scott King, the youngest son of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 62.
“He transitioned peacefully in his sleep at home with me in Malibu,” his wife, Leah Weber King, said. “He gave it everything and battled this terrible disease until the end. As with all the challenges in his life, he faced this hurdle with bravery and might.”
Dexter’s older brother Martin Luther King III said in a statement, “I am deeply saddened to share that my brother, Dexter Scott King, has passed away. The sudden shock is devastating. It is hard to have the right words at a moment like this. Please keep the entire King family in your prayers, and in particular, Dexter’s wife, Leah Weber.”
Rev. Al Sharpton said he was “heartbroken to hear that Dexter King left us this morning, but I was comforted by the knowledge he is reunited with his parents and sister.”
The Mayor of Atlanta, Andre Dickens, released a statement celebrating the life of Dexter King, “his profound and unwavering love for his family positioned him as a guardian of his father and mother’s legacies,” Dickens said. “Dexter held various titles—Morehouse man, humanitarian, Civil Rights activist, and even actor.
Dexter was only seven years old when his father was assassinated. He previously told CNN that had been watching TV with his older brother when a news flash interrupted, announcing his father had been shot in Memphis.
“It was a very chaotic and traumatic period,” he said.
After his father’s passing, some people expected Dexter to follow his father’s path. “People would say, ‘I want you to be just like your father,’ or ‘You should be a minister,” he said.
A Morehouse College alum, Dexter served as the chairman of The King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, a nonprofit established by Coretta Scott King following her husband’s assassination.
Additionally, he held the position of president of the King Estate. He also co-authored the book “Growing Up King: An Intimate Memoir” and portrayed his father in the 2002 film “The Rosa Parks Story.”