In 1985, Coretta Scott King, the widow of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., requested scholar and historian Clayborne Carson to act as the senior editor of a forthcoming collection of her late husband’s writings. 

Carson readily understood and appreciated the immense significance of such an endeavor.  Accepting the task from the founder and president of the King Center, Carson ultimately edited and published what would be The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. multi-volume set, definitive of King’s life and legacy.