Eight Martin Luther King Jr. Facts on the 50th Anniversary of His Assassination

Wednesday will mark 50 years since the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. The activist and religious leader was one of the most prominent people in the civil rights movement and used nonviolent tactics to battle racism in the United States.

King was born in 1929 in Atlanta and attended segregated schools throughout his childhood. The summer before he started college, King went to Connecticut the summer before college, where he worked picking cotton. King was surprised that there was far less segregation above the Mason-Dixon Line, sparking his drive to work against segregation.

His message of nonviolence and acceptance lives on through memorials, and in his teachings, speeches and sermons.

Facts about Martin Luther King Jr.:

Martin Luther King Jr. was actually born Michael King Jr. and later changed his name after his father did the same for the theologist and priest Martin Luther.

King started college at Morehouse College in Atlanta when he was just 15 years old, he graduated four years later in 1948 with a degree in sociology.

King was shot and killed while standing on the balcony of his motel room in 1968. After a two month long manhunt, suspect James Earl Ray was captured; he pleaded guilty the next year.

King's mother was also killed. In 1974, Alberta Williams King was shot and killed in church where she played the organ.

Mahatma Gandhi was an inspiration for King's style of nonviolent protest.

King was the spokesperson for the Montgomery bus boycott that started the entire civil rights movement.

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to King in 1964 for his resistance of racial prejudice, making him the youngest person to win the award at the time. He was just 35-years-old.

King donated the money he won with the Nobel Peace Prize to the civil rights movement.