Profession: African American Activist
Why Famous: Malcolm X's own father fought for civil rights as a local leader in the Universal Negro Improvement Association and was possibly murdered by white racists while Malcolm X was still a child. Malcolm X joined the Nation of Islam during his term in prison, rising to become an influential figure, largely through his powerful oratory. He is credited with raising the membership of the nation of Islam from just over 1,000 to over 40,000 by the 1960s.
In March 1964 Malcom X announced his split form the Nation of Islam and its leader Elijah Muhammad. He converted to sunni Islam and toured the Middle East, his views focusing more on pan-African values and less on violent means.
In February of 1965 he was assassinated by three members of the Nation of Islam in New York. The posthumous publication of "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" written with Alex Haley further established him as a civil rights hero.
- 1958-01-14 Human rights activist Malcolm X marries fellow activist Betty Shabazz in Lansing, Michigan
- 1964-03-08 Malcolm X resigns from the Nation of Islam
- 1964-06-28 Organization for Afro-American Unity formed in New York by Malcolm X
- 1965-02-21 Rights activist Malcolm X is shot dead by Nation of Islam followers at Audubon Ballroom in New York City
- 1992-11-18 "Malcolm X" film directed by Spike Lee starring Denzel Washington and Angela Bassett is released in the US
- 1994-01-12 Malcolm X's daughter arrested for plotting Louis Farrakham's murder