Born Malcolm Little, he spoke out against white supremacy and became one of the most influential African American ministers in the world.
After the death of his father, he and his brothers would hunt game to make ends meet.
A trip to the Muslim holy city of Mecca helped him to develop his beliefs; he began signing his last name as X to replace the ancestral slave name Little.
His father was murdered by white supremacists when he was a child, his uncle was lynched, and his mother was admitted into a mental ward. He lived in several foster homes, and married Betty Shabazz in 1958; together they had six children.