Dexter Scott King was born on Jan. 30, 1961, in Atlanta. He was named for the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, in Montgomery, Ala., where his father had first emerged as a leader of the civil rights movement in the 1950s.
Following in the tracks of generations of King men, Mr. King attended Morehouse College, the historically Black institution in Atlanta, but left before graduating.
He married Leah Weber in 2013. She survives him, as do his brother, Martin, and younger sister, Bernice. His older sister, Yolanda King, died in 2007.
Mr. King moved to California in 2000 and stepped down as president and chief executive of the King Center in 2003. He became active in the film industry as a producer and creative adviser, and played his father in the TV movie “The Rosa Parks Story” (2002).
Mr. King was said to look, speak and gesture just like his father, but unlike his siblings he declined to follow Dr. King in his career choices. While Martin III became a noted civil rights leader, including a stint as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which Dr. King founded, and while Bernice became, like her father, a preacher, Dexter insisted that he was not a leader.
“I have never seen myself the way the media has portrayed me, as a leader,’‘ he told The New York Times in 1997. “I’m not trying to have a constituency. I’m not trying to be preachy or be on a pedestal. I’m not trying to effect change on that level, not because it’s not something that should be done, but that’s just not my best destiny.”