The King Center announced the passing of its Chairman and long-time leader, Dexter Scott King, the youngest son of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mrs. Coretta Scott King, on January 22, 2024. He was 62.
Dexter Scott King, a valiant figure in his own right, succumbed to prostate cancer, leaving behind a legacy deeply intertwined with his family’s monumental civil rights work. His wife of 11 years, Leah Weber King, shared that he “transitioned peacefully in his sleep at home in Malibu,” highlighting his bravery and tenacity in facing life’s challenges, including his final battle with cancer.
The loss of Dexter has profoundly impacted the King family. His sister, Rev. Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO of The King Center, expressed her heartbreak over losing another sibling, while his brother, Martin Luther King III, described the sudden shock as “devastating.”
Born in Atlanta on January 30, 1961, Dexter was named after the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, where his father served his first pastorate. He was only seven when his father was assassinated in Memphis, TN, in 1968. Dexter grew up in Ebenezer Baptist Church, graduated from Frederick Douglas High School, and followed his father’s footsteps to Morehouse College.
Dexter Scott King dedicated his life to perpetuating his father’s legacy, particularly in protecting Dr. King’s intellectual property. He served as both Chairman of The King Center and President of the King Estate, becoming an expert in intellectual property law.
While he had a passion for the creative arts and initially pursued acting in California, he was ultimately drawn back to his duties in upholding the King family legacy. Dexter portrayed his father in the 2002 television movie “The Rosa Parks Story.”
Dexter was married to Leah Weber, a New Orleans native and entrepreneur, in a private ceremony in 2013. The couple shared a life of love and support, reminiscent of the bond between Dexter’s parents.
Survived by his wife Leah, his sister Rev. Dr. Bernice A. King, his brother Martin Luther King III, his niece Yolanda Renee King, and a host of family members, Dexter’s passing marks the end of an era in the King family’s history. The family requests privacy and will address the media in a press conference scheduled for January 23rd at The King Center.
A memorial service for Dexter Scott King will be announced at a later date.