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Martin Luther King, Jr. and Children

Benedict J. Fernandez, born 1936
Martin Luther King, Jr., 15 Jan 1929 - 4 Apr 1968
Yolanda Denise King, 17 Nov 1955 - 15 May 2007
Bernice Albertine King, born 1963
Martin Luther King, III, born 1957
1968 (printed 1989)
Gelatin silver print
Image: 31 x 20.7 cm (12 3/16 x 8 1/8")
Sheet: 35.8 x 27.9 cm (14 1/8 x 11")
Mount: 45.6 x 35.5 cm (17 15/16 x 14")
Mat: 55.9 x 40.6 cm (22 x 16")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Eastman Kodak Professional Photography Division, the Engl Trust, and Benedict J. Fernandez
Restrictions & Rights
© Benedict J. Fernandez
Object number
Exhibition Label
On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed by an assassin's bullet in Memphis, Tennessee, where he had gone to organize a march in support that city's striking sanitation workers. The murder that deprived the nation and the world of an unparalleled champion for civil rights also deprived King's four children of a beloved father. When King lay in state in Atlanta at Sisters Chapel, Spelman College, thousands of mourners paid their respects as they passed his open casket. Photographer Benedict Fernandez was there to record the moment when five-year-old Bernice King, flanked by her older sister Yolanda and brother Martin Luther King III, first caught sight of her father's body. Bernice's shocked expression serves as a reminder that while King's death was a loss for the world, it was deeply personal tragedy for his young family.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
United States\Georgia\Fulton\Atlanta