A week after Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Dexter Scott King, the youngest son of the civil rights icon, passed away. His family and the King Center announced his death in a statement on Monday (Jan. 22). He was 62.
Dexter was the third child of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott. The King’s youngest leaves behind his wife of 11 years, Leah Weber King. He did not have any children, per CNN. Leah revealed in a statement that she was at Dexter’s side when he died.
“He transitioned peacefully in his sleep at home with me in Malibu,” Leah’s statement said, per Newsweek. “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.”
Dexter Scott was only seven years old when his father, Dr. King, was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. Meanwhile, his mother, Coretta Scott King, passed away on his 45th birthday in 2006. Dexter would have turned 63 next week on Jan. 30.
Newsweek reports that Dexter Scott was named after a church his father served in called Dexter Avenue Baptist in Montgomery, Alabama.
Martin Luther King III Reacts To His Brother Dexter’s Death
According to CNN, Dexter’s brother, Martin Luther King III, also confirmed his brother’s passing in a statement. It reportedly read:
“I am deeply saddened to share that my brother, Dexter Scott King, has passed away. The sudden shock is devastating. It is hard to have the right words at a moment like this. Please keep the entire King family in your prayers, especially Dexter’s wife, Leah Weber.”
According to Newsweek, Dexter’s sister, Dr. Bernice King, has also reportedly shared 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.”
RELATED: MLK Jr.’s Sister, Civil Rights Activist Dr. Christine King Farris Passes Away At The Age Of 95