Dexter King, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s youngest son, has passed away following a fight with prostate cancer. He was 62.
King was conspicuously absent during last week’s King Holiday observance and no information was forthcoming at that time regarding his whereabouts.
Dexter King’s wife, Leah Weber King, said he died peacefully on Monday, Jan. 22 while asleep at his Malibu home with her. He was the third child to the Kings and was married to Leah King for nearly 11 years.
“He gave it everything and battled this terrible disease until the end,” she said in a news release. “As with all the challenges in his life, he faced this hurdle with bravery and might.”
At the time of his death Dexter served as both Chairman of The King Center and President of the King Estate. Becoming well versed in intellectual property law, and its management and licensing was the result of his dedication to the delegated task and the memory of both his father and mother.
Known to be humble about his uncanny resemblance to his father, he portrayed him in the 2002 television movie The Rosa Parks Story. The actor had a love for the creative arts and initially relocated to California to pursue a career in acting. But family duty called and he answered, living out the rest of his life balancing both his love of the arts and his duties to the King family legacy.
At a private ceremony in July of 2013, he married his best friend and longtime partner, Leah Weber. Mrs. Leah Weber King is a New Orleans native, former broadcast journalist, entrepreneur, and consultant. Together they built a life of love, support and unconditional love, much like that of Dexter’s mother and father.
He was preceded in death by his father (1968), his mother (2006) and sister Yolanda (2007). He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 11 years Leah Weber King, his sister Rev. Dr. Bernice A. King, his brother Martin Luther King, III, and his niece, Yolanda Renee King.
A memorial service will be announced at a later time.
Rev. Al Sharpton, founder and president of the National Action Network (NAN), issued the following statement on the passing of Dexter King, the second son of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“I 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. Dexter was only seven when his hero, his role model, and, most importantly, his father was taken from us. He turned that pain into activism, however, and dedicated his life to advancing the dream Martin and Coretta Scott King had for their children, their grandchildren, and all the generations to come after. My love and prayers are with my brother, Martin III, Arndrea, Yolanda, and Bernice. We mourn with them for the loss of their brother – our brother – who left us far too soon.”
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
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