Dexter Scott King was born in Atlanta on Jan 30, 1961, and was named after Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama

Dexter Scott King, son of Martin Luther King, Jr. answers questions regarding the family rift at the Ebenezer Baptist Church. — Reuters/File

Dexter Scott King — who was a famous civil rights activist and the youngest son of Martin Luther King Jr — died due to prostate cancer in Malibu, California Monday, the King Center said.

His wife said that he died at his home, peacefully, adding that "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," she said.

Dexter Scott King was born in Atlanta on January 30, 1961, and was named after Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, where his father served his first pastorate.

He was only seven years old when his father Martin Luther King Jr was killed in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1968.

Reverend Dr Bernice A. King, CEO of the King Center, in a statement: "Words cannot express the heartbreak I feel from losing another sibling. I’m praying for strength to get through this very difficult time."

Following his father's legacy, Dexter attended Morehouse College in Atlanta. At the time of his passing, he served as both chairman of the King Center and president of the King Estate.

The 62-year-old also played a role portraying his father in the 2002 television movie "The Rosa Parks Story."

Founder and president of civil rights organisation the National Action Network Reverend Al Sharpton said he was "heartbroken" to hear of King's passing.

"Dexter was only seven when his hero, his role model, and, most importantly, his father was taken from us," he said in a statement. 

"He turned that pain into activism, however, and dedicated his life to advancing the dream Martin and Coretta Scott King had for their children, their grandchildren, and all the generations to come after," he added.

He was preceded in death by his father and his mother, who died in 2006, and sister Yolanda, who died in 2007. He is survived by his wife of 11 years Leah Weber King, his sister Bernice King, his brother Martin Luther King III, his niece, Yolanda Renee King, and other family members.

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