Black Muslim leader, author, human rights activist.
Born on May 19th in Omaha, Nebraska as Malcolm Little. His politically active family attracts the attention of local white supremacists, who burn down his parents' home; his father later dies under suspicious circumstances.1952
After serving time in prison for burglary, Malcolm Little joins the Nation of Islam and changes his name to Malcolm X.1953
Malcolm moves in with Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad in Chicago, and quickly becomes the public face of the movement.1959
Malcolm, who is by this point the de facto leader of the Nation of Islam, travels to Africa and the Middle East to build ties between black Muslims and the international Muslim community.1963
Malcolm becomes increasingly uneasy with some elements of the Nation of Islam's teachings. After discovering that Elijah Muhammad has had a series of extramarital affairs, Malcolm leaves the organization and begins working with Alex Haley on The Autobiography of Malcolm X.1964
Malcolm rejects black separatism, makes a pilgrimage to Mecca, and meets with leaders in Africa and Europe about incorporating the U.S. civil rights struggle into the international human rights framework. Meanwhile, U.S. Nation of Islam leaders burn down his house and call for his death.1965
Assassinated on February 21st by Nation of Islam members Talmadge Hayer, Norman Butler, and Thomas Johnson, all of whom were convicted, served time, and have since been released from prison. The Autobiography of Malcolm X is published later the same year.