Undated image of Martin Luther King, Jr, photographed by Donald M. Schwartz at an African-American church in Chicago, Illinois. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods. A Baptist minister, King became a civil rights activist early in his career. King's efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech and established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history. In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other nonviolent means. By the time of his death in 1968, he had refocused his efforts on ending poverty and stopping the Vietnam War. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1977) and Congressional Gold Medal (2004). Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as an American federal holiday in 1986.