In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we’ve compiled a list of all the things he accomplished in his 39 years of life. Read and be motivated by the greatness of Dr. King.
1. Became the youngest person, during his time, to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
2. Author of five books published from 1958 through 1968.
3. Became an ordained Baptist minister.
4. Was president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in Atlanta.
5. Arrested for leading a march in Birmingham, Ala. and wrote “Letter from Birmingham Jail” while in solitary.
6. Delivered “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which was attended by over 250,000 people.
7. Was named TIME magazine’s Man of the Year.
8. Helped organize civil rights protests in Selma, Ala.
9. Traveled over six million miles from 1957 to 1968.
10. Awarded nearly 20 honorary degrees.
11. Attended college at age 15.
12. Graduated in 1948 with a bachelor of arts in sociology.
13. Won a Grammy award for Best Spoken Word Album.
15. Became regarded as one of the greatest nonviolent leaders in world history.
16. Delivered his first national address on voting rights during the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom on May 17, 1957.
17. Received his doctorate in systematic theology at Boston University.
18. Narrowly escaped an assassination attempt a decade before his death.
19. Reportedly gave Playboy his longest interview.
20. Cameo’d in a banned Swedish film.
21. Had a pillow fight in a motel room the day of his assassination.
22. Created a legacy that would later garner him approximately 900 streets in his name.
23. Began planning the Poor People’s Campaign—which demanded jobs, health care, and decent homes for the poor—before his death. The protest began five weeks after his murder.
24. Mentored by the theologian and civil rights leader, Howard Thurman.
25. Led a boycott of buses in Montgomery, Ala. after Rosa Parks was arrested.
26. Joined the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.
27. He graduated with his Ph.D. at 25.
28. Convinced the only Black character on Star Trek to stay in her role to move positive representations of Blackness in media forward.
29. From 1957 to 1968 he spoke publicy over 2,500 times..
30. Married Coretta Scott King.
31. Attended the independence celebration of Ghana and met Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah.
32. Went on a month-long visit to India where he met with Prime Minister Jawaharal Nehru and Ghandi’s followers.
33. Lead a march of 6,000 protesters in support of striking sanitation workers in Memphis.
34. Had four children, Yolanda Denise King, Bernice King, Martin Luther King III, and Dexter Scott King.
35. Foretold his own death in his last public speech at Mason Temple Church.
36. Received his Bachelor’s of Divinity degree in 1951, top of his class.
37. Moved from Montgomery to Atlanta in 1960 to become co-pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church with his father.
38. Skipped two grades in high school, 9th and 11th.
39. Donated all of the $54,123 he received for his Nobel Peace Prize to the Civil Rights movement.