Martin Luther King Jr. was born on Tuesday, January 15, 1929, at the family home in Atlanta. He was the first son born to the Reverend Martin Luther King Sr. and Alberta Williams King. At birth, he was given the name Michael, like his father, but both names were soon changed to Martin Luther. Martin Luther Jr. had an older sister, Christine, and a younger brother, Alfred Daniel.
M.L., as he was called, lived near the Ebenezer Baptist Church where his father was the minister. His mother was a schoolteacher.
Martin Luther King Jr. began school at the age of five, one year before reaching the legal age of six. When his age was discovered, he was not allowed to stay in school and did not restart until the next year when he turned six.
He did very well in school and skipped both the ninth and twelfth grades. He had excellent scores on the college entrance exams in his junior year of high school, and went on to Morehouse, an all-black college, without even graduating from high school. He was only 15 when he began college.
Throughout his childhood, Martin Luther King Jr. was very aware of the differences between blacks and whites. The two groups were unable to attend the same schools, play together, or eat in the same restaurants. Martin Luther King's mother and father fought for African-American rights and taught him something that would become an important part of his life - to treat all people with respect.