Martin Luther King, Jr. Net Worth – Salary, Income and Assets, Exposed!

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Let’s take a close look at Martin Luther King and see whether he became rich.

What is Martin Luther King’s Net Worth?

Summary of Martin Luther King’s Net Worth

  • Net Worth: $250 Thousand
  • Date of Birth: Jan 15, 1929 – Apr 4, 1968 (39 years old)
  • Gender: Male
  • Profession: Writer, Civil rights activist, Minister of religion
  • Nationality: United States of America

When he died in 1968 (after adjusting for inflation), Martin Luther King, Jr. had a net worth of $250 thousand. In the mid-20th century, Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister, and activist was one of the most famous figures in the civil rights movement.

Civil disobedience and nonviolence were his guiding principles, and he led marches for the rights of black Americans. In the years leading up to his assassination in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968, King was an outspoken and prolific activist.

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Martin Luther King’s Early Life

Martin Luther King was born Michael Luther King in 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. When he was six, his father, Michael, had both their names legally changed to Martin in honor of the German religious reformer Martin Luther. 

As the grandson of a sharecropper on his father’s side and of a Baptist minister on his mother’s, young Martin felt an early, almost religious connection to the difficult and tragic past of his people. This powerful sense of kinship led to his rise as one of the world’s foremost social reformers, and as an unequalled American civil rights leader. 

Watching his father, who served as a deacon in the Baptist ministry, Martin grew up longing to be a preacher and a teacher. He graduated from Morehouse College, completed advanced studies at Crozer Theological Seminary and Boston University, and was ordained a minister in 1947. 

Shortly following his marriage to Coretta Scott in 1953, he became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, which would serve as his home church for the rest of his life. King observed his people’s plight. 

Blacks were discriminated against not only in private but also in systematic public ways, in obvious contradiction to the Constitution. The US Government, as a whole, turned its head to most black-related situations. Many blacks had no jobs and lived in substandard housing; equality in education was neither a state nor a federal priority. These factors prodded some, especially younger blacks, to become involved in crime and drug abuse. 

In addition to the doctrines of Christianity, Reverend King pored over the recent historical teachings of Mohandas Gandhi, who had earlier initiated India’s nonviolent protests for social reform. 

Moreover, he seized upon the social ideals from Henry David Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience, which espoused that “man should breathe after his own fashion” and should not obey those laws and customs of a society that he perceived as wrong. From such sources, King developed his philosophy: change could and would be wrought through quiet, nonviolent, yet determined and effective, means.

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King’s Civil Rights Contributions

With his congregation as a base, and together with other courageous blacks – like Rosa Parks, the first black to refuse to give up her seat to a white passenger while riding a bus – King led a boycott of Montgomery’s city buses in objection to discrimination against black passengers, who, until that time, had been forced to sit in the rear. 

After much public outcry and press coverage, the boycott succeeded, spawning King’s long crusade for civil rights. Peaceful resistance became Reverend King’s major tool in his battle to achieve equal economic, social, educational and political opportunities for Black Americans. 

To solidify the frequent conflicting efforts of several civil rights groups, King helped establish the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), becoming its first president in 1957. 

His rise to prominence was furthered when he received the Spingarn Medal, the highest honor given by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). 

King’s eloquent pleas for racial justice, his unfailingly courageous words and actions – broadcast nationwide via television, radio and newspaper – won the support of millions of Americans, black and white. He led demonstrations in various parts of the country, garnering support from local and national religious, equal rights and labor organizations. 

In 1963 the dynamic leader mobilized a massive march in Birmingham, Alabama to protest citywide racial discrimination. 

That same year, as the nation looked on, more than 200,000 people took part in a symbolic march from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. To Dr King’s surprise, a quarter of the marchers were white. The high point of the rally came when the minister told the throng:

… I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.” I have a dream. … I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream.

The crowd, carried by the soaring cadence of his voice and words, then heard a new phrase from their spokesman, his voice reverberating as a bell: “Let freedom ring … ” 

But just weeks after King’s resounding message of brotherhood, a Birmingham church was bombed, killing four young girls. This senseless and tragic murder was followed by the assassination of President Kennedy, who represented, to many American blacks, an emancipator almost in the mold of Lincoln. 

The despair and hostility that gripped the nation grew with the growing incidence of discrimination and violence. But Dr King insisted that these trials were part of the “furnace of adversity” that had to be passed through before peace could be realized. 

1964 saw King staging a sit-in protest in St Augustine, Florida. This effort was largely responsible for the enactment of the Civil Rights Act in Congress some months later. King was then honored as a Nobel Laureate for his devotion and leadership in his people’s nonviolent struggle. In 1965 a campaign was launched to gain guaranteed black voting rights. 

King headed the famed symbolic march from Selma, Alabama to the steps of the State Capitol in Montgomery. Most of the marchers were school children. Many arrests were made, but news coverage of police and anti-black brutality succeeded in carrying to the nation’s conscience the need for political equality. 

Hundreds of frustrated citizens converged on Selma – including placard-bearing nuns – until President Johnson was forced to call in federal troops for the protection of all factions. The Voting Rights Act passed shortly thereafter; at the end of Johnson’s televised message, he echoed King’s words: “ … It is not just Negroes, but really it is all of us who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice. And – we – shall – overcome!” 

However, by 1965, a more militant attitude had surfaced in the black community. The Vietnam War (which King opposed, leading many to accuse him of Communist connections) drained away vast quantities of American resources and diverted public attention from Civil Rights reform. 

Additionally, many blacks themselves began to criticize the movement, citing little improvement in their employment, housing and living conditions, and insisting that legislation alone could not free them. 

These difficulties placed King’s influence and leadership in jeopardy. His peaceful program was almost eclipsed by a “Black Power” movement, pushing for more immediate reforms. For King, this meant a step backward: it would now be more difficult to convince the white community in general that it had no reason to fear black equality. 

In a bold move, Reverend King now turned his focus to uniting the poor. Hoping that a campaign against poverty might mitigate the growing “separatist” sentiments among many black and white Americans, he worked steadfastly to include Spanish-speaking Americans and American Indian groups in the effort; in early 1968 he organized a “Poor People’s March” to be held in Washington later that year. 

But Reverend King would never live to lead it. Soon the Watts riots mushroomed into nationwide urban unrest. As King pushed ahead to involve northern blacks in his cause and pled with city leaders to provide more public community services (swimming pools, educational programs, etc.) for ghetto youth, he was pained by the growing image of blacks fighting and looting in the streets. 

But, ironically, the minister’s emphasis on nonviolence was no deterrent to his opposition. He was stabbed in New York, stoned in Chicago, frequently spat upon, and jailed on a number of occasions. His home was bombed. 

And ultimately, a concealed sniper cut short his life in Memphis at age 39. Shock and grief gave way to angry rioting throughout black neighborhoods. Ghettos exploded. Violence reigned, in paradoxical tribute to a firmly gentle man. King was a masterful speaker. 

A few months before his murder, he prophetically chose as his sermon the subject of his own death: “I’d like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King Jr tried to give his life serving others. I’d like somebody to say that Martin Luther King Jr tried to love somebody.” 

These words were followed by a plea to his adherents everywhere to forge ahead with the cause after his death. On that last, fateful trip to Memphis, with his voice alternately rising and falling, he spoke again of life and death:

… Some began to talk about the threats that were out, of what would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers. Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter to me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop! … Like anybody I would like to live … a long life. … But I’m not concerned about that now. … I just want to do God’s will! And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain, and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight, that we as a people will get to the Promised Land! So I’m happy tonight, I’m not worried about anything! I’m not fearing any man! Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!

The next day, he was gone. 

King’s tenets are expounded in five books that he somehow found the time to write from 1958 to 1968: Stride Toward Freedom, Strength to Love, Why We Can’t Wait, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?, and The Trumpet of Conscience. The titles eloquently describe the struggle for which he gave his life. Martin Luther King Jr did not create the Civil Rights Movement, but he rose up at a critical time to lead it; and his teachings and example still shine. 

King’s assassination silenced his voice. But his life and death brought a rebirth of American hope for “freedom for all.” Whatever its course, the fight for equality will continue. King’s tombstone near Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church is fittingly inscribed both as a memorial and an impassioned call to hope: “Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, I’m free at last!”

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Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Salary

Martin Luther King, Jr. is rich, so you can assume that his salary is higher than that of an average person.

But he has not publicly disclosed his salary for privacy reasons. Therefore, we cannot give an accurate estimate of his salary.

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Income

Martin Luther King, Jr. might have many sources of income such as investments, business and salary. His income fluctuates every year and depends on many economic factors.

We have tried to research, but we cannot find any verified information about his income.

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Assets

Given Martin Luther King, Jr.’s estimated net worth, he should own some houses, cars, and stocks, but Martin Luther King, Jr. has not publicly disclosed all of his assets. So we cannot get an accurate figure on his assets.

Martin Luther King Quotes

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.


Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.


I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.


The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.


We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.


I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.


We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.


We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

View our larger collection of the best Martin Luther King quotes.

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How To Become Rich Like Martin Luther King, Jr.?

Martin Luther King, Jr. did not become rich by luck. To become as rich as Martin Luther King, Jr., you have to work smart.

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If you seize this golden opportunity in time, you can become as successful as Martin Luther King, Jr. one day.

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