Dexter Scott King, the youngest son of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, has died at the age of 62, the King Center in Atlanta said.
Family members said he died after a battle with prostate cancer.
“He transitioned peacefully in his sleep at home with me in Malibu,” his wife, Leah Weber King, said in a statement.
Dexter King was an activist and served as chairman of the King Center and the president of the King Estate.
Born in Atlanta in 1961 to civil rights leaders, Dr King and Coretta Scott King, Dexter Scott King was named after Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, where his father served as a pastor for the first time. He was just seven when Dr King was assassinated.
Dexter King’s brother, Martin Luther King III, said he was “deeply saddened” by the loss of his sibling.
“The sudden shock is devastating,” he said in a statement. “It is hard to have the right words at a moment like this. Please keep the entire King family in your prayers, and in particular Dexter’s wife, Leah Weber.”
His sister Rev Bernice King said words “cannot express the heart break” she felt from losing another sibling. Her sister, Yolanda King, died in 2007, a year after her mother.
King attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia like his father. He later became a lawyer, a role which he used to help protect the King family’s intellectual property.
The third of the Kings’ four children, Dexter had an “uncanny resemblance” to his father, whom he played in the 2002 movie The Rosa Parks Story, the King Center in Atlanta said.
“He devoted his life to the continued perpetuation of his father’s legacy,” the Center said.
In a statement, civil rights leader Rev Al Sharpton said he sent his condolences to the family, adding “May he RIP, may his legacy live”.