Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Sister Passes Away At The Age Of 95

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.‘s last surviving sibling, Dr. Christine King Farris, has passed away at the age of 95, according to reports.

Farris died peacefully at her Atlanta home on Thursday, the King Center announced, as reported by Fox 5 Atlanta.

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MLK’s Sister, Celebrated Educator, Civil Rights Activist Dead At 95

Born in 1927, she was Dr. King’s older sister. She was the last surviving and longest-serving member of this Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where her grandfather, father, and brothers served as pastors.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens called Farris “a force in her own right,” specifically in education and literacy.

“Our hearts are heavy in Atlanta today, with the news that Christine King Farris has died,” Dickens told Atlanta News First. “As the last of the King siblings, she spent much of her life advocating for equality.”


Dickens added that she “spent much of her life advocating for equality.”

“She once said that her brother Martin simply gave us the blueprint, but it was our duty ‘to carry it out,’” he said.

Background: Who Was Dr. Christine King Farris, And What Did She Do?

At 16, Farris enrolled in Spelman College, earning a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1948. She eventually received two master’s degrees in education at Columbia University in New York.

At the time, she could not attend the University of Georgia as Black students were not accepted.

She eventually went on to teach at Spelman, where she served as the college’s longest-serving faculty member until her retirement in 2014.

U.S. senator and senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, Raphael Warnock, noted how much American history and progress Dr. Farris witnessed in her lifetime.

“Christine King Farris is an iteration of the American dream. She went on to witness the long arc of American history bend from many changes, much of it pushed forward by her own brother,” Warnock said of Dr. Farris, as reported by Atlanta News First.

Farris Instrumental In Making MLK Day A Holiday, Survived By Two Children And A Grandchild

In 1968 after MLK Jr. was assassinated, Farris and her sister-in-law, Coretta Scott King, opened the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change to further King’s civil rights aims.

It’s because of the King Center that MLK Day is a national holiday, in celebration of the civil rights leader’s birthday, according to Fox 5 Atlanta.

Dr. Farris is survived by her children, Isaac Newton Farris, Jr. and Dr. Angela Farris Watkins. She is also survived by a granddaughter, Farris Christine Watkins. She was preceded in death by her longtime husband, Isaac Newton Farris, Sr., who died in 2017.

They were married for 57 years, the outlet reports.

The family says it will be announcing funeral arrangements at a later date.

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