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Christine King Farris, sister of Martin Luther King Jr., dies at age 95

Martin Luther King Jr.'s sister remembers her "little brother" 02:24

Christine King Farris, Martin Luther King Jr.'s sister, has died, her family and the Martin Luther King Jr. Center announced. She was 95.

"As the eldest sibling of my father, Martin Luther King, Jr., Aunt Christine embodied what it meant to be a public servant," Martin Luther King III wrote on Twitter. "Like my dad, she spent her life fighting for equality and against racism in America."

Farris died Thursday morning, the King Center said.

She was a founding board member of the nonprofit that Coretta Scott King started in 1968 in the wake of her husband's assassination, and she served in other roles at the center.

"I love you and will miss you, Aunt Christine," Bernice King, Martin Luther King Jr.'s daughter and the King Center's CEO, wrote on Twitter.

President Biden said Thursday evening, "She lived as an example of America's promise."

"Shaping the history of the journey of America in the 20th and 21st centuries, she stood for peace, freedom, and justice—virtues that reflect the best of our nation," Mr. Biden said.

Born Willie Christine King on Sept. 11, 1927, in Atlanta, she was the first child of Martin Luther King Sr. and Alberta Williams King. Her brothers Martin and Alfred Daniel King were born in 1929 and 1930 respectively.

According to the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University, Farris was the inspiration for a significant moment in the future civil rights leader's life.

In an essay, King wrote about a guest evangelist speaking at their Sunday School and inviting children to join the church.

"My sister was the first one to join the church that morning, and after seeing her join I decided that I would not let her get ahead of me, so I was the next," King wrote. "I had never given this matter a thought, and even at the time of {my} baptism I was unaware of what was taking place. From this it seems quite clear that I joined the church not out of any dynamic conviction, but out of a childhood desire to keep up with my sister."

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