A week after Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Dexter Scott King, the civil rights icon’s youngest son, died. On Monday, January 22, his family and the King Center issued a statement announcing his death. He was 62.

Dexter was Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s third child with his wife, Coretta Scott. The King’s youngest child leaves behind his wife of 11 years, Leah Weber King. He did not have any children, according to CNN. Leah confirmed in a statement that she was on Dexter’s side when he died.

“He transitioned peacefully in his sleep at home with me in Malibu,” Leah’s statement said, according to Newsweek. “He gave his all and fought this dreadful sickness to the end. As with all of his life’s trials, he confronted this one with courage and force.”

Dexter Scott was just seven years old when his father, Dr. King, was slain in Memphis, Tennessee. Meanwhile, his mother, Coretta Scott King, died on his 45th birthday in 2006. Dexter would have turned 63 next week, on January 30.

According to Newsweek, Dexter Scott was named after the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, where his father ministered. According to CNN, Dexter’s brother, Martin Luther King III, confirmed his brother’s death in a statement. It supposedly reads: “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, especially Dexter’s wife, Leah Weber.”

According to Newsweek, Dexter’s sister, Dr. Bernice King, has also released a statement. “Words cannot express the heartbreak I feel from losing another sibling. I’m praying for strength to get through this very difficult time.”

(CNN et al, 2024)

PHOTO: Getty Images

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