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James Earl Ray

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James Earl Ray

Mug shot of Ray taken in 1955
Born March 10, 1928(1928-03-10)
Alton, Illinois, United States
Died April 23, 1998(1998-04-23) (aged 70)
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Conviction(s) Murder, prison escape,
armed robbery, burglary
Penalty 99 years imprisonment (one year was added after his re-capture for a total of 100 years)
Spouse Anna Sandhu (divorced)
Parents James Gerald Ray

James Earl Ray (March 10, 1928 – April 23, 1998) was the man who was convicted of murdering Martin Luther King, Jr on April 4, 1968. He was sentenced to 99 years in prison.[1] At first he said he had shot King, but he later said he did not do it.

Early life

He was born in Alton, Illinois. He was convicted of burglary, robbery, theft and forgery during the 1950s.

He escaped from prison in 1967.[2]


He died in Nashville, Tennessee from liver failure caused by hepatitis C.[1]