Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Friday, October 18, 2013

Belafonte Suing MLK’s Estate


Singer and social activist Harry Belafonte has sued Martin Luther King Jr.’s estate, asking the court to declare him the owner of three documents associated with the King estate and to bar the estate and King’s youngest daughter, Bernice King, from claiming ownership.

The documents include an outline of King’s “Casualties of the War in Vietnam” speech, the undelivered “Memphis Speech,” and a condolence letter from President Lyndon B. Johnson sent to King’s widow.

Bernice King and the King estate disputed Belafonte’s ownership of the documents when he had them appraised by Sotheby’s and put up for sale in 2008.  The "King of Calpyso" claims the documents were given to him by the civil rights leader and his wife.

See Piya Sinha-Roy, Belafonte Sues King Estate, Daughter Over Ownership of Documents, Reuters, Oct. 16, 2013.


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