King was a writer, speaker and political activist who promoted non-violent resistance to unnacceptable rules of law and conventions of society.
He helped to dignify a social movement that was under attack from the start by refusing to respond to violence with violence, to hate with hate. He once said that darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.
He spoke well and by most accounts did very well at living up to his word.
He was jailed for protesting and he was honored by JFK and Lyndon Johnson. He was attacked and shot, and he was praised for his eloquence, his compassion, his integrity, his courage, his will, his faith and his intelligence.
He graduated early from high school and recieved a BA before he was 20, I believe, and an MA and a Phd. (in separate programs) by the time he was 27.
He had a family. And he dedicated himself, despite the costs, to a life of social change and service.