Interview with Marian Logan

I think people lose track of who Martin Luther King was as a person, in the midst of all this history and all these things. What was Martin Luther King like as a man?


As a man I'm glad, I wish someone would say as a man and really follow through, you know. Because the boy was a man, and he was a human being, he was, ah, a marvelous sense of humor, loved to joke, loved to play jokes on any others, you knew, particularly Ralph, or Andy. And me sometimes. And, ah, he loved to sing, he loved all kinds of music, not just the hymns and the freedom songs that we sang, you know. I can remember in, ah, Oslo, when he sang "I Left my Heart in San Francisco". And he couldn't remember all the words but that was all right. He had a good voice, and, ah, he would often tell jokes. And if we were, on the road somewhere, you know, on a trip somewhere, or at a convention. At night- Martin was one who did not sleep, my husband would give him pills, my husband was the doctor, I remember, and would give him those because he complained about not being able to sleep. And, ah, Martin would take the pills, and then sit up and talk the pill effect away, you know. He would come to my suite some nights, 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning, knock on the door and say, "Hello darlings, I just came to say good night. I had prayers with you to say good night." I said, "Martin you're lying, you didn't come to say good night. Come in and sit down." And he would sit, and he would look around. And I knew what he was looking for. And I said, "What's the matter Martin." Martin, he said, "Marian you don't treat your leader right." I said, "What's wrong?" He said, "Well you didn't give me anything, so that I can go to sleep." He was looking for a drink, you know. He trusted me enough, I have now thought about it many times. And since others have spoken of it, ah, I think at that time he trusted me enough to let me know that he did like to have drink once in awhile, and it did relax him. But then he would start talking, and it would go on for hours. I'd look up and it would be 7 or 8 o'clock in the morning, and we were supposed to be going somewhere, staff and whatnot at a press conference or something. And Martin would go, "I have to get some sleep." He would maybe sleep for an hour or so, and then get up. I've never in my life seen the man, so brilliant when it came to, ah, thinking on his feet, out of a dead sleep. We'd be on a plane, and when we'd land somewhere the press would come in with the cameras, you know, ah, with the lights blaring right in his eyes, right in his face, so then he would wake up. And they would start interviewing him, and Martin would be brilliant. How he did it I don't know, these are things I think, a lot of people didn't know about him. He was a brilliant man, and, ah, I don't need to tell you how he could speak, and really work people up with his- not just "I have a dream" and "With this faith", and a lot of themes that he followed you know.