10 Prominent Political Figures Accused of Plagiarism

2. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, March on Washington colorized photo, August 28, 1963.
Martin Luther King, March on Washington colorized photo, August 28, 1963. | (Photo: Public Domain)

In October of 1991, Boston University announced that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. plagiarized portions of his doctoral dissertation 36 years before.

"Despite its finding, the committee said that 'no thought should be given to the revocation of Dr. King's doctoral degree,' an action that the panel said would serve no purpose," reported The New York Times.

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"But the committee did recommend that a letter stating its finding be placed with the official copy of Dr. King's dissertation in the university's library."

For their part, The Martin Luther King Jr. Papers Project addressed the plagiarism in Volume II of The Papers of Martin Luther King Jr. titled "Rediscovering Precious Values, July 1951-November 1955": Although the extent of King's plagiaries suggest he knew that he was at least skirting academic norms, the extant documents offer no direct evidence in this matter," stated the Project.

"King's actions during his early adulthood indicate that he increasingly saw himself as a preacher appropriating theological scholarship rather than as an academic producing such scholarship."

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