Celebs who died young

These actors, musicians, and public figures passed away before their time

#38 Martin Luther King Jr.

Celebs who died young 12
Credit: Minnesota Historical Society / Wikimedia Commons

Born: January 15th, 1929

Died: April 4th, 1968

Age at death: 39

Cause of death: Assassination

African American Baptist minister and activist Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4th, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee while planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C. He was fatally shot by James Earl Ray as he stood on the second-floor balcony of his room at Lorraine Motel. The bullet entered through his right cheek, smashing his jaw, then traveled down his spinal cord before lodging in his shoulder. After an emergency chest surgery, King died at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

King was the most visible spokesperson and leader in the Civil Rights Movement from 1955 until his assassination. Inspired by his Christian beliefs and the non-violent activism of Mahatma Gandhi, King advanced civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience.