As the battle continues between Martin Luther King’s children and wife over his assets, (you can’t use the phrase “I have a dream.” without paying one of them.), one has to wonder how well we really knew the man. In the public’s eyes he is seen as a reverend who advocated for the advancement of the disenfranchised, the poor, the forgotten, the oppressed and the members of his race who had been left out of the prosperity and advances many of us take for granted. He is viewed as humble, intelligent, caring and as a man willing to put himself in the line of fire for the things he believed in. Given that perception of the man how is it that his heirs are so litigious, squabbling and bitter over money, and forsaking of his ideals? Perhaps we should take a closer look at this only human, and flawed man. Here are five things few people know about him.
- He was a heavy smoker. King was a four pack a day man. Even considering the norms of the time, four packs a day is a lot of spliffs. Someone this reporter knows smokes a pack a day and the walls of their house, when washed, leave a white rag brown. Imagine what eighty sticks a day makes a mans lungs look like.
- He was fond of Payday candy bars. The man from the south had a sweet tooth for the peanut coated nougat. He always traveled with a few of the candy bars in his suitcase.
- He collected souvenir spoons. He was proud of his collection, often receiving them from dignitaries from the places he visited. He regretted not having completed his collection from the fifty states, never having visited Alaska.
- He was quite the ladies man. Although his improprieties have been often mentioned, few but his inner circle knew the full scope of his interest in the fairer sex. He was trying to surpass JFK’s record of conquests and considered Wilt Chamberlain a role model.
- He had an explosive temper. He became infuriated at flat hotel pillows and was known to fly into a rage, pounding them with his fists and beating them against the walls in an effort to fluff them up.