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Christine King Farris, older sister of MLK and celebrated Spelman professor, turns 94

She was born Sept. 11, 1927 in Atlanta.
Credit: AP Photo/Jason Getz

ATLANTA — Christine King Farris, the older sister of Martin Luther King, Jr. and a acclaimed educator who taught at Spelman for more than half a century, celebrated her 94th birthday on Saturday.

King Farris was one of the foundational influences in establishing both the King Center, after her brother's assassination and what would become the Learning Resources Center at Spelman's Department of Education.

She was a Spelman educator, and director of the Learning Resources Center, for 56 years before retiring in 2014.

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During the Civil Rights Movement, she participated in the landmark Selma to Montgomery March in 1965 and the March Against Fear in Mississippi the next year.

Born Sept. 11, 1927, she and younger brothers MLK and Rev. Alfred Daniel King were "three peas in a pod," according to a Spelman profile.

MLK's daughter and the current CEO of the King Center, Dr. Bernice A. King, wished her aunt a happy birthday on Saturday.

"There are so many stories that I cold share about Aunt Christine. Suffice it to say, she and I have so much in common, according to her daughter (my favorite cousin), Angela. I admire her regalness, her classiness, her strength, her profound faith, and tenacity," Dr. King wrote. "I thank God that Aunt Christine is still with us and is doing well. Let's wish her a very happy birthday, share some love, and send up continual prayers for her - praying she makes it to 100."

Dr. Lisa Herring, the Atlanta Public Schools superintendent, said she studied under King Farris at Spelman and also wished her a happy 94th birthday.