The First Assassin of Martin Luther King Jr.

UnknownThis is not exactly a legal post, but I was thinking the other day about Izola Curry.  Who is Izola Curry?  She was an African-American women who nearly killed Martin Luther King Jr. in 1958.  King was at a store in Harlem signing some books, when Curry approached and stabbed him in the chest with a letter opener.  She came within an inch of puncturing his heart, which would have killed him.  This is one of the great “What Ifs” of American history.  Who knows whether the Civil Rights Movement would have succeeded, especially as a non-violent effort, if King had died then.

Curry was judged incompetent to stand trial and sent to an insane asylum.  Now here is the strange thing.  If you look at her Wikipedia page, it says that she is still alive.  If that’s correct, she would be 97.  I don’t know if that is correct, but I see nothing else discussing her since her arrest and commitment.  I’d be curious if anyone knows what happened to her.

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3 Responses

  1. mls says:

    I am afraid I have no idea, but I would like to say that I learn quite a lot from you. I just posted something today (http://www.pointoforder.com/2013/10/17/the-public-debt-clause-and-other-things-you-cant-take-to-the-bank/) which cites your article on the Gold Clause cases.

  2. Anonymous Sleuth says:

    I don’t know the answer to this, but the folks discussed in this article claim to have dug into this and found some information (but don’t reveal it): http://thegrio.com/2013/03/04/the-stabbing-of-dr-king-new-documentary-delves-into-izola-curry-mystery/

    Apparently, she was committed to the Matteawan State Hospital (Source: http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/encyclopedia/encyclopedia/enc_curry_izola_ware_1916/). The New York State Archives has some records that would cover the first part of the period she was (is?) there: http://www.archives.nysed.gov/a/research/res_topics_legal_corrections_inst_fishkill.shtml

  3. NECOACH says:

    This is really interesting to know that the man who was a big factor in the civil rights movement was almost killed. Who knows what would have happened if Dr. King wasn’t around then to fight for equal rights. I sit back and think that if he had died from this, we would not be able to hear the ” I have a Dream Speech”, which I look forward to hearing every year.