Yolanda Denise King was the first-born child of Coretta Scott King and civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Her younger siblings are Martin Luther King III, Dexter Scott King, and Bernice Albertine King. She was twelve years old when her father was assassinated.
She graduated from Grady High School at the age of sixteen, and went Smith College where she was subject to some criticism and remarks about her father. She decided to learn about him, by reading his books and formed her own opinion about him. She became a spokesman for her father's legacy, and was disenchanted with the knowledge of children born after his time not knowing as much as she believed they should. She supported a retrial of James Earl Ray, and publicly stated that she did not hate him. After receiving a master's degree in theater from New York University and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Marywood University, she became more active in acting and preformed in plays as well.
She encouraged races to come together after and before the September 11 attacks occurred and spoke for her mother at the time of her illness that would eventually lead to her death. She supported her brother Dexter throughout some legal troubles regarding their other two siblings and continued to speak for peace and equality in her final years, which she exercised for bisexuals most prominently. King died on May 15, 2007 when she collapsed and could not be revived.