Home » Family in ‘Shock’ Over Death of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Youngest Son

Family in ‘Shock’ Over Death of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Youngest Son

Dexter Scott King, the youngest son of Martin Luther King Jr., died Monday morning after a “valiant battle with prostate cancer,” the King Center announced.

Dexter’s wife, Leah Weber King, wrote in a statement that Dexter “transitioned peacefully in his sleep at home with me in Malibu.” She said her husband of 11 years “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,” she wrote.

Born in 1961 to MLK and Coretta King, Dexter was just 7 years old when his dad was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. He spent his life advocating for civil rights, like his father, and was also a prominent animal rights activist.

Dexter was serving as the King Center’s chairman and was president of the King Estate at the time of his death. He was a graduate of Morehouse College, a historically Black university in Atlanta, and had no children.

“He devoted his life to the continued perpetuation of his father’s legacy and the protection of the intellectual property (IP) his father left behind,” the King Center wrote in a statement.

Dexter was the third of the Kings’ four children, and was named for the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, where his father once preached.

Dexter’s brother, Martin Luther King III, wrote in his own statement that he was “deeply saddened” by Monday’s news.

“The sudden shock is devastating,” he said. “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.”


January 2024