(Watch) In Memoriam: Dexter Scott King

The King Center sadly announced that Dexter Scott King, the youngest son and the third child of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mrs. Coretta Scott King, passed on January 22, 2024, after a valiant battle with prostate cancer. “He transitioned peacefully in his sleep at home with me in Malibu,” says his best friend of 21 years, his strongest supporter, and wife of 11 years, Leah Weber King. “He 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 said.

His sister, Rev. Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO of The King Center, stated, “Words cannot express the heartbreak I feel from losing another sibling. I’m praying for strength to get through this very difficult time”. His brother Martin Luther King, III added, ‘‘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.”

Born in Atlanta on January 30, 1961, he was named after Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, where his father served his first pastorate. The 62-year-old was the second-born son of Dr. & Mrs. King and was only seven years old when his father was assassinated in Memphis, TN, in 1968. Like his father, he grew up in Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where his grandfather served as Pastor. He graduated from Frederick Douglas High School, where he played football and participated in many other school organizations. He followed his father’s footsteps to Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.

The son of the Civil Rights icons was the family member delegated to continue the precedent his father set by legally protecting his work. He devoted his life to perpetuating his father’s legacy and protecting the intellectual property (IP) his father left behind. At his death, Dexter served as Chairman of The King Center and President of the King Estate. His dedication to the delegated task and the memory of his father and mother resulted in his becoming well versed in intellectual property law and its management and licensing.

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 loved the creative arts and initially relocated to California to pursue a career in acting. But family duty called, and he answered, living the rest of his life balancing his love of the arts and his responsibilities to the King family legacy.

At a private ceremony in July 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 his 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; his niece, Yolanda Renee King; and a host of immediate and extended family members.

Right On! Digital’s Cynthia Horner mourns the passing of this giant and expresses sympathy to the family.