Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in 1929 and died in 1968. He was an American clergyman known for his leadership in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Martin Luther King, Jr. led the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. He organized nonviolent marches to protest segregation and racial injustice. This peaceful means of protest is known as passive resistance. His 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech dealing with peace and racial equality is one of the most powerful speeches in American history. Dr. King was assassinated by a gunman in 1968.