Every MLK Day, you can expect your news feeds to be filled with nostalgic revisionist tellings about the late great Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the most prominent civil rights leaders of our time.
But beyond the great speeches, bold demonstrations in the Deep South, and winning trailblazing honors — MLK lived a life of great personal heartbreak, mystery, and humor.
As we witness 50 years since his untimely death, here are 10 fascinating things you probably didn’t know about the only U.S. citizen who never held political office to have a national holiday named after him:
He attended college at 15
After skipping grades nine and twelve, King enrolled at the prestigious Morehouse College, the alma mater of his father and maternal grandfather, in 1944. He graduated at 19 years old, solidifying his Black excellence at a very young age. He would later earn a divinity degree from Pennsylvania’s Crozer Theological Seminary and attend graduate school at Boston University, where he received his Ph.D. degree in 1955.