OTD Martin Luther King Jr. Becomes Youngest Recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize

October 12, 2022
A photo of a sunset at a calm beach
"I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality."

On this day in 1964, 35-year-old Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. won the Nobel Peace Prize for showing that "struggle can be waged without violence." He was the youngest man to have ever received the award. Dr. King, a Baptist preacher and civil rights leader, received $54K as part of the prize, and he donated it all to leading civil rights groups. Throughout his life, Dr. King advocated for equality, freedom, justice and love: "Hate is too great a burden to bear. I have decided to love," he wrote in his fourth and final book, before he was killed at age 39. You can read some of Dr. King's speeches on our source page.

Other potential quote option: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"

"I am convinced that men hate each other because they fear each other. They fear each other because they don’t know each other, and they don’t know each other because they don’t communicate with each other, and they don’t communicate with each other because they are separated from each other." MLK Jr. at Cornell College in 1962

Martin Luther King Jr. Acceptance Speech (The Nobel Prize, 1964)

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (National Park Service)

55 of the Most Powerful Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes (Oprah Daily)

A Few Of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Speeches:

Read Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' speech in its entirety (NPR)

Background of “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop”

Here is the speech Martin Luther King Jr. gave the night before he died: "I've Been to the Mountaintop" by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"The Other America," Dr. Martin Luther King

by Jenna Lee,