Monday, May 20, 2024

Judge in MLK Traveling Bible and Nobel Peace Prize Case Could Rule Soon

martin luther king children

*The dispute between the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s heirs over the late civil rights leader’s traveling Bible and Nobel Peace Prize could enter a new chapter.

The Associated Press reports that Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney could decide the case today or let it go to trial. The judge stated that when he ordered Bernice King to hand over the Bible and medal to the court’s custody, the estate appeared likely to win the case.

The pending ruling marks the latest in the ongoing war between the Bernice and the Estate of Martin Luther King Jr. Inc., which is controlled by Martin Luther King III and his younger brother, Dexter Scott King. A year ago, the brothers asked a judge to order Bernice to hand over their father’s Nobel Peace Prize and traveling Bible.

The latest case being the fifth lawsuit in the past decade over the Bible and Nobel medal.

Last year in February, Bernice argued that her father cherished the traveling and Nobel Peace Prize, saying that both items speak to the very core of who he was.

“You don’t sell Bibles and you don’t get but one Nobel Peace Prize. There are some items that you just don’t put a price on,” former Ebenezer Baptist Church assistant pastor Rev. Timothy McDonald told the AP. Although he takes Bernice’s side regarding the case, McDonald describes himself as a friend of the whole King family.

A lawyer representing the estate mentioned at a hearing last year that the King brothers want to sell the items to a private buyer because the estate needs money. With the estate being a private entity, its finances aren’t made public. The AP notes that court records don’t elaborate on the estate’s need for cash.

Bernice’s lawyers argue that Martin Luther King Jr. gave the Nobel Peace Prize medal to his wife Coretta as a gift. That translates into it being a part of Coretta Scott King’s estate, which has Bernice as its administrator.

As far as how much the Bible and Nobel Peace Prize would fetch financially, the AP cited two separate appraisers who said they would expect the Nobel medal to sell for about $5 million to $10 million, and possibly more, based on what other Nobel medals have gone for and King’s place in history.

Appraiser Leila Dunbar told the news agency that she would expect the Bible to sell for at least $200,000 and possibly more than $400,000. In Clive Howe’s eyes, the Bible would probably sell for about $1 million.

For more on the case, click over to

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