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The Filson to host Jonathan Eig as Gertrude Polk Brown Speaker

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Filson Historical Society will host the Gertrude Polk Brown Lecture Series on Tuesday, January 30 at 6:00 p.m. at The Kentucky Center – Bomhard Theater, featuring New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Eig’s book, King: A Life.

Vividly written and exhaustively researched, Jonathan Eig’s King: A Life is the first major biography in decades of the civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr.—and the first to include recently declassified FBI files. In this revelatory new portrait of the preacher and activist who shook the world, the bestselling biographer gives us an intimate view of the courageous and often emotionally troubled human being who demanded peaceful protest for his movement but was rarely at peace with himself. He casts fresh light on the King family’s origins as well as MLK’s complex relationships with his wife, father, and fellow activists. King reveals a minister wrestling with his own human frailties and dark moods, a citizen hunted by his own government, and a man determined to fight for justice even if it proved to be a fight to the death. As he follows MLK from the classroom to the pulpit to the streets of Birmingham, Selma, and Memphis, Eig dramatically re-creates the journey of a man who recast American race relations and became our only modern-day founding father—as well as the nation’s most mourned martyr.

In this landmark biography, Eig gives us an MLK for our times: a deep thinker, a brilliant strategist, and a committed radical who led one of history’s greatest movements, and whose demands for racial and economic justice remain as urgent today as they were in his lifetime.

Jonathan Eig is a former senior writer for The Wall Street Journal. He is the New York Times bestselling author of several books, including Ali: A Life, Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig, and Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season. Ken Burns calls him “a master storyteller,” and Eig’s books have been listed among the best of the year by The Washington PostChicago TribuneSports Illustrated, and Slate.

The Gertrude Polk Brown Lecture Series will be held on Tuesday, January 30 at 6:00 p.m. at the Kentucky Center – Bomhard Theater, 501 West Main St., Louisville. Tickets are free for Filson members and $26.62 for non-members (taxes and fees included). This lecture is offered both in person and virtually. Parking fees are separate. Tickets for this event must be purchased from The Kentucky Center Ticket Service. Please call (502) 584-7777 or visit for tickets.

Initiated in 1993 as a memorial to the life of Gertrude Polk Brown and made possible by the generous support of her children, Dace Brown Stubbs and G. Garvin Brown III. The Gertrude Polk Brown Lecture Series has brought both nationally and internationally recognized historians and journalists to Louisville, many of them Pulitzer Prize winners. Speakers are selected based on their overall excellence in research, writing, and speaking and are not restricted to historians. The Filson hosts up to five lectures per year in this series.