ATLANTA – The eldest son of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. announced that he is resigning as president of the Atlanta center that honors his father’s civil rights legacy.
Martin Luther King III broke the news in a statement a day after the holiday marking his father’s birthday. Last week, his sister, the Rev. Bernice King, took over as chief executive officer a role previously held by King III. Their brother, Dexter, remains chairman of the board of trustees.
King III said he will remain active on the center’s board, but plans to launch a new organization dedicated to the principles of nonviolence, social justice and human rights.
The siblings were embroiled in legal battle for more than a year before settling out of court in 2009. King III and Bernice King sued Dexter King, accusing him of acting improperly as head of their father’s estate, which the three of them control as a private corporation. In the lawsuit, they claimed he shut them out of decisions involving King Inc. and refused to hold a shareholders meeting since 2004.
King III resumed his position as head of the center in 2010. This month he announced plans for a major overhaul of the King Center at its annual fundraising gala. AP
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By ERRIN HAINES