The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), was a pivotal figure in the civil rights movement. He became famous in the 1950s and 1960s for his advocacy of nonviolent, direct action in the struggle against racism. King was a child prodigy who entered Morehouse College, in Atlanta, at 15 and was ordained a minister of the Baptist Church at 19. As pastor of the Dexter Avenue Church in Montgomery, Alabama, King gained a reputation as an eloquent and committed opponent of racial intolerance. He was elected President of the Montgomery Improvement Association and spearheaded the Montgomery bus boycott, which led to desegregation of the city’s buses in 1956.