|The son of a Baptist minister, Martin Luther King, Jr. graduated from high school at age 15 and entered Morehouse College in Atlanta. At age 18, he was ordained a Baptist minister and preached at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where his father was pastor. In 1948, he graduated from Morehouse with a degree in sociology. In 1951 he received a divinity degree from Crozer Theological Seminary and married Coretta Scott, a student at the New England Conservatory of Music. At this point in his life, King became deeply influenced by Gandhi and his philosophy of nonviolence. He also read Thoreau and was influenced by his essay "Civil Disobedience." He earned a Ph.D. in 1955, from Boston University (and, in 1957, a divinity degree from the University of Chicago). King became the pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, and led a successful boycott, initiated by the refusal of Rosa Parks to give up her seat on a bus to a white person. The issue went all the way to the United States Supreme Court and the victory was a key historical event in the civil rights movement. King was selected by Time magazine as one of 10 outstanding personalities of 1956. In his first book, STRIVE TOWARD FREEDOM: The Montgomery Story, he told the story of the bus boycott. King was the target of much hate, including threats to his home and family, and an assassination attempt that nearly ended his life. He was also a target of the FBI. King formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, along with many other leaders and ministers, including Ralph Abernathy.King returned to Atlanta, where, with his father, he became co-pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church. During the Kennedy administration, he worked hard on encouraging federal intervention in the South, with some success and some disappointment. A newsworthy person, King was frequently arrested and one of his classic texts is "Letter from Birmingham Jail". King stood fast to his principles of nonviolence and his method of mass confrontation and protest. He saw the importance role of the mass media in bringing the horrors of segregation to the American public. On August 28, 1963 King delivered the famous "I Have a Dream" speech before the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963. The event is seen as pivotal in the civil rights movement and the speech is considered one of the finest pieces of oratory ever delivered in America. In the following year, Congress passed a strong civil rights bill and King received the Nobel Peace Prize. King was Time magazine's Man of the Year 1963. He was a prolific writer of speeches and sermons, and author of several books including WHY WE CAN'T WAIT. King's focus in the late '60s turned to the war in Vietnam and to poverty in America. On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis Tennessee. His legacy lives on in the Atlanta-based King Center for Social Justice. A national holiday was passed in 1983.