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February 01, 2023

Where Every Family Matters

Share With the Kids & Discuss: Rarely Seen Family Photos of MLK

Most of us know Dr. King as an educator, freedom fighter, orator and truth seeker — but his four children knew him as dad.

Martin Luther King, Jr. led the Civil Rights Movement in the United States from the mid-1950s until his death by assassination at age 39, in 1968. Though his life was short, his impact will always be with us. In honor of MLK Day this month, remember the father behind the civil rights icon with these rare MLK family photos.

MLK family photos:

After Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is freed from jail under a $2000 appeal bond, he is greeted by his wife Coretta and childre

After Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is freed from jail under a $2000 appeal bond, he is greeted by his wife Coretta and children, Marty and Yoki, at the airport in Chamblee, Georgia on October 27, 1960. (Bettmann/Corbis)

Civil rights leader Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. relaxes at home with his family in May 1956 in Montgomery, Alabama.

Civil rights leader Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. relaxes at home with his family in May 1956 in Montgomery, Alabama. (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Martin Luther King Jr. and his family eat their Sunday dinner after church on November 8, 1964.

Martin Luther King Jr. and his family eat their Sunday dinner after church on November 8, 1964. (Flip Schulke/Corbis)

Martin Luther King Jr. talks with his daughter on a swing set in the backyard of their home in Atlanta.

Martin Luther King Jr. talks with his daughter on a swing set in the backyard of their home in Atlanta. (Flip Schulke/Corbis)

Martin Luther King Jr. serves pieces of chicken to his young sons Marty and Dexter at Sunday dinner on November 8, 1964.

Martin Luther King Jr. serves pieces of chicken to his young sons Marty and Dexter at Sunday dinner on November 8, 1964. (Flip Schulke/Corbis)

Martin Luther King Jr. holds his young son Dexter on his lap at home in Atlanta, November 8, 1960.

Martin Luther King Jr. holds his young son Dexter on his lap at home in Atlanta, November 8, 1960. (Flip Schulke/Corbis)

Martin Luther King Jr. and his family eat their Sunday dinner after church on November 8, 1964.

Martin Luther King Jr. and his family eat their Sunday dinner after church on November 8, 1964. (Flip Schulke/Corbis)

Civil rights leader Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. relaxes at home with his family in May 1956 in Montgomery, Alabama.

Civil rights leader Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. relaxes at home with his family in May 1956 in Montgomery, Alabama. (Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images)

Martin Luther King Jr. pushes his young son Dexter on a swing set in their backyard, November 1960.

Martin Luther King Jr. pushes his young son Dexter on a swing set in their backyard, November 1960. (Flip Schulke/Corbis)

Civil rights leader Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. relaxes at home with his family in May 1956 in Montgomery, Alabama. (

Civil rights leader Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. relaxes at home with his family in May 1956 in Montgomery, Alabama. (Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images)

 

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About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing and Entertainment Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 4-year-old Ezra.