TLS signed “Martin,” one page, 8.5 x 11, Southern Christian Leadership Conference letterhead, November 2, 1964. Letter to Chicago Sun Times columnist Irv Kupcinet and his wife Essee, in full: “May I express my deep and sincere gratitude to you for your very warm message on the announcement of my being chosen as the recipient of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize. Your encouraging words and your genuine confidence give me new determination to carry on the struggle to make the brotherhood of man a reality. Certainly, I was moved, honored and gratified to learn of my being chosen for such a significant honor. But as I said on receiving word of the Nobel Peace Prize, I cannot accept this as an honor to me personally; it is rather a tribute to the discipline, dignity, courage and calm reasonableness with which Negro and white persons of good will have struggled to establish a reign of justice and a rule of love across this nation of ours. In short, the Nobel Peace Prize of 1964 is an award to the whole civil rights movement and its dedicated leaders. It is for this reason that I have decided to give every dollar accompanying the award to the civil rights movement. This award should inspire all of us to work a little harder and with more determination to make the American Dream a reality. It should also challenge us to work passionately and unrelentingly to discover the international implications of nonviolence; for in a real sense, there can be no justice without peace and there can be no peace without justice. If mankind is to survive, we must come to see that war is obsolete and must be cast into unending limbo. Thank you again for your kind expressions. May God continue to bless you and yours as we work for a better distribution of wealth, for a warless world and for a brotherhood that transcends race or color.” In very fine condition.
The year 1964 proved a decisive turning point for the SCLC and Martin Luther King's campaign against segregation and racism in American daily life. Strong public support of King’s various marches and nonviolent protests led to the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a landmark legislative bill that would inevitably reward King with the Nobel Peace Prize on December 8, making him the award’s youngest ever recipient. Kupcinet was a former Philadelphia Eagle draft pick before an injury changed his career to Chicago sports journalist. The success of his weekly column led to his own award-winning television series, Kup’s Show, which King, among other civil rights leaders like Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X, appeared on in 1963 and 1967. An ideal, extraordinarily crisp letter from MLK. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.
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