MLK's Kids Battle Over His Nobel, Bible

Sons want them sold, daughter does not
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2014 9:05 AM CST
In this undated photo, The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaks at a podium.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – That Martin Luther King Jr.'s children are fighting over his estate is nothing new. But it's come to this: The civil rights leader's Nobel Peace Prize and Bible will soon be locked in a safety deposit box, with the key being held by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney. McBurney established that temporary fate for the items in a ruling yesterday, noting they "won't go anywhere until we resolve this matter." The details of the matter: Sons Dexter and Martin Luther King III want to sell the Nobel medal and the Bible, which the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes was used to swear in Obama in 2013; sister Bernice King does not.

The King estate has three board members—that would be the three children —and it sued Bernice last month. The estate wants the courts to force her to return the items, which she has had control of since her mother's 2006 death, to the estate. Bernice, for her part, says, "Our Father MUST be turning in his grave." The brothers' attorney say an unnamed buyer is willing to purchase the items, which are likely worth millions, and that the sale is needed to keep the estate up and running; it helps support the King Center, and battles copyright infringement. "These opportunities are fleeting," said the lawyer, referring to the sale. McBurney indicated there is a "likelihood" the King estate will prevail, reports Reuters. (Read more Martin Luther King Jr. stories.)

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