Martin Luther King Jr: Inspirational quotes

The civil rights leader was known as a great orator and an ambassador for peace.

April 4, 2019, 3:37 AM

Martin Luther King Jr. was known for his soaring oratory as well as his leadership of the U.S. civil rights movement.

Here are some inspirational quotes from the minister and civil rights leader, who was assassinated in Memphis on April 4, 1968:

1. "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."(Letter from Birmingham City Jail)

    2. "If a man hasn't discovered something he will die for, he isn't fit to live.”(Preview of the “Dream” at Detroit March)

    Martin Luther King Jr. addresses marchers during his "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Aug. 28, 1963.

    3. “As long as there is poverty in this world, no man can be totally rich even if he has a billion dollars.”(“The American Dream”)

    4. "Negroes of the United States, following the people of India, have demonstrated that nonviolence is not sterile passivity, but a powerful moral force…"(Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech)

    Walk to Freedom marchers, including Martin Luther King Jr., center, and Detroit Mayor Jerome P. Cavanaugh, march for racial equality in Detroit, June 1, 1963.
    Francis Miller/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

    5. “Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts.”(Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech)

    6. “Everybody can be great ... because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart...”(“The Drum Major Instinct,” Ebenezer Baptist Church)

    Martin Luther King Jr. speaks in New York, Oct. 16, 1965.

    7. “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”(Letter from Birmingham City Jail)

    8. “We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.”(Letter from Birmingham City Jail)

    Martin Luther King Jr. sits for his for police mugshot after his arrest for directing a boycott of segregated buses, Feb. 24, 1956, in Montgomery, Alabama.
    The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images

    9. “Somewhere we must come to see that human progress never rolls in on the wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and persistent work of dedicated individuals...”(Oberlin College Commencement)

    The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the federal holiday that honors him, in Washington, Jan. 16, 2017.
    Joe Raedle/Getty Images

    The nation honors Martin Luther King’s memory annually on the third Monday of January around his birthday, Jan. 15.

    Editor's note: A quote that appeared in a previous version of this story has been removed because it was from John F. Kennedy.

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