Dexter Scott King, the younger son of the late Martin Luther King Jr and Coretta Scott King, has passed away at the age of 62 after a battle with prostate cancer. 

The King Center in Atlanta, where Dexter King served as chairperson, announced the demise of the 62-year-old son of the renowned civil rights leader. Dexter King breathed his last on Monday at his residence in California, succumbing to the challenges posed by prostate cancer. His wife, Leah Weber King, conveyed in a statement that he passed away “peacefully in his sleep.” 

Named after the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Alabama, where his father once served as a pastor, Dexter King was only seven years old when Martin Luther King Jr. was tragically assassinated in 1968. He held the position of the third child among the four offspring of the Kings.


Dexter Scott King hugs his mother, Coretta Scott King, in Atlanta, Georgia, on 14 January 1989. Photograph: Joe Holloway, Jr./AP 

In his adult life, Dexter King pursued a career as an attorney, dedicating himself to preserving and managing his father’s legacy and safeguarding the intellectual property of the King family. Apart from chairing the King Center, he also assumed the role of president of the King estate. 

The passing of Dexter Scott King follows the deaths of his mother, Coretta Scott King, in 2006, and the Kings’ eldest child, Yolanda King, in 2007. 


“Words cannot express the heart break I feel from losing another sibling,” Bernice A King, Dexter King’s youngest sibling, said in a statement. 

Dexter King’s older brother, Martin Luther King III, said: “The sudden shock is devastating. It is hard to have the right words at a moment like this. We ask for your prayers at this time for the entire King family.” 

Atlanta’s mayor, Andre Dickens, said he stood with his city “and so many worldwide in grieving the loss of Dexter Scott King”. 

“His profound and unwavering love for his family positioned him as a guardian of his father and mother’s legacies,” Dickens said. 

Dickens said Dexter King held various titles, including those of Morehouse College graduate, humanitarian, civil rights activist and even actor. 

“However, above all, he was a devoted family man,” said Dickens, who also offered condolences to Dexter King’s various survivors. 



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