Izola Ware Curry was a paranoid woman that felt many Civil Rights leaders of her time was conspiring against her, and Martin Luther King was one of them.
On September 20, 1958 Curry attended a book signing in New York City where King was promoting his book, “Stride Toward Freedom.”
Curry walked up to King as he was signing books and asked, “Are you Dr. King,” and King replied yes. Curry then pulled out a letter opener from her purse in stabbed King in the chest. Curry was later found to be carrying a pistol in her purse as well.
While recovering in the hospital King held a press conference in his room and said, “I feel no ill will toward Mrs. Izola Curry and know that thoughtful people will do all in their power to see that she gets the help she apparently needs if she is to become a free and constructive member of society.”
After Curry’s assassination attempt on King, an October of 1958 psychiatric report on Curry was released and stated, “she has been under constant surveillance and all her movements are known to the NAACP and Dr. King.”
Ten years later and a day before he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, King spoke of Curry and her assassination attempt in his, “I’ve Been To The Mountain Top, speech.
Born as Izola Ware and born in the Georgia town of, Adrian. After a failed marriage to James Curry of only six months, Curry relocated to New York City at the age of 20 and found work as a housekeeper, and bouncing around between several cities to try to find steady work. Developing delusional problems, Curry believed that the NAACP was preventing her from living a progressive life and finding work.
For several years Curry was thought to have been decease, but she was living in a nursing for most of her life until her death of natural causes on March 17, 2015.