Described as one of the greatest African American leaders and hailed as the person who laid the foundations of the Black Power movement, Malcolm X would have been 93 today.
The civil rights leader was assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City on Sunday, February 21, 1965, just three months before he turned 40.
In his lifetime, he was not always recognised for his achievements. Many dismissed him as an angry young man. This is his story:
Malcolm excelled at school, but after one of his teachers told him he should become a carpenter instead of a lawyer, he lost motivation and ended his formal education.
In his teenage years, he was involved in criminal activities and was imprisoned from 1946 to 1952.
In prison, he went through a transformation and ended up joining the Nation of Islam, an African American movement that combined Islam with black nationalism.
After his release from prison, he helped lead the Nation of Islam, marking a period of its greatest growth. He founded the Nation’s newspaper, Muhammad Speaks, and led the administration of mosques for the Nation in New York, Philadelphia and Boston.
A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything
An articulate public speaker, Malcolm X expressed the frustration and bitterness of African Americans during the major phase of the civil rights movement from 1955 to 1965.
Malcolm advocated the separation of black and white Americans and rejected the civil rights movement for its emphasis on integration.
Malcolm urged his followers to defend themselves “by any means necessary”.
He was one of the early voices to speak out against the US’ growing engagement in Vietnam. And he infuriated many when, in reaction to the assassination of President John F Kennedy, he said it was “chickens coming home to roost”.
I am for violence if non-violence means we continue postponing a solution to the American black man's problem
If you're not ready to die for it, put the word 'freedom' out of your vocabulary