Tributes pour in for Dexter King, youngest son of MLK

Wave Staff and Wire Reports

MALIBU — Heartfelt tributes, prayers and condolences continued to pour in this week for Dexter Scott King, the youngest son of Martin Luther King Jr., who died here Jan. 22 following a battle with prostate cancer. He was 62.

“He transitioned peacefully in his sleep at home with me in Malibu,” his wife, Leah Weber King, said in a statement released by the King Center in Atlanta. “He gave it everything and battled this terrible disease until the end. As with all the challenges in his life, he faced this hurdle with bravery and might.”

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters. D-Los Angeles, issued a statement that said My heart goes out to Rev. Bernice King and Martin Luther King III. We mourn with you the death of Dexter King and we are so proud of the way that all of you have worked to keep your father’s legacy alive. 

“As Chairman of the King Center, Dexter did a wonderful job in expanding education regarding the contributions of your dear father. The King family has paid a high price of sacrifice in the struggle for justice, peace, and equality. May Dexter rest in peace with his father, his mother, and his sister,” Waters added.

County Supervisor Holly Mitchell also issued a statement regarding King’s death. 

I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Dexter Scott King, activist and youngest son of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” Mitchell said. “Dexter King continued the legacy of his father, working tirelessly to promote the advancement of civil rights and non-violence. His contributions have left an indelible mark on the ongoing struggle for justice and equality.

In honor of the King legacy, we must continue our collective efforts to advocate for equity, justice and inclusivity. Supporting institutions like the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital becomes not just a tribute to the past but a commitment to creating a better future for all. My condolences and thoughts are with the King family during this challenging time.”

Cynthia Mitchell heard, the president of the Los Angeles Urban League also issued a statement.

“On behalf of the Los Angeles Urban League, we are deeply heartbroken to learn of the passing of Dexter Scott King,” she said. Dexter Scott King lived a life of service that made a positive impact on communities across the world. May the memory of the remarkable work of Dexter Scott King provide comfort to those whose lives he touched.”

Basketball legend Magic Johnson took to X to comment on King’s death.

“Dexter King devoted his life to carrying on his father’s legacy, serving as the chairman of the King Center and president of the King Estate,” Johnson said. “Cookie and I are sending our prayers to the entire King family during this already difficult time.”

Dexter Scott King was 7 years old when his father was assassinated in 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. He was the chairman of the King Center and president of the King Estate. His mother, Coretta Scott King, died in 2006. His older sister Yolanda died in 2007.

“Words cannot express the heartbreak I feel from losing another sibling,” his sister, the Rev. Bernice A. King, CEO of the King Center, said in a statement. “I’m praying for strength to get through this very difficult time.”

Bernice King said a service would be held within the forseeable future in Atlanta. She said her brother had been cremated, per is request.

According to the King Center, Dexter Scott King “devoted his life to the continued perpetuation of his father’s legacy and the protection of the intellectual property his father left behind.”

An attorney, Dexter King’s work to become well-versed in intellectual property law “was the result of his dedication to the delegated task and the memory of both his father and mother.”

He was born in Atlanta and was named after Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, where his father served as a pastor.

He is survived by his wife, his sister Bernice King, his brother Martin Luther King III, and his niece, Yolanda Renee King.