Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the son and grandson of African American ministers. He himself became a baptist minister and advanced the cause of civil rights in USA. After becoming a pastor in 1954, the following year he accepted the leadership of the first great Negro non-violent demonstration of contemporary times in the US, the bus boycott. After 382 days, on December 21, 1956, after the Supreme Court of the United States had declared unconstitutional the laws requiring segregation on buses, Negroes and whites rode the buses as equals.
His popularity, prodigious oratorical gift and commitment to social justice made him a figure of concern by the political establishment, and was monitored and harassed by the FBI. After the successfully advancing the cause of civil rights, he refocused his efforts on economic justice and ending the Vietnam war. He was assassinated in 1968 by elements of the US government, according to a 1999 law suit.