On `dream` anniversary, MLK`s personal chauffeur shares memories - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

On `dream` anniversary, MLK`s personal chauffeur shares memories

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Spencer Leak Senior got up close and personal with Dr. Martin Luther King as his driver whenever King was in town during 1966. It afforded Leak an opportunity to see a different side of the civil rights leader through the rear view mirror.

"I got a chance to drive him, talk to him, joke with him and he was very personable when he was not speaking, had a great sense of humor, a boisterous laugh," Leak recalls.

Spencer Leak Senior was Dr. King's driver whenever he was in Chicago in 1966. He remembers the police escorts that allowed for quick trips.

"So, we're driving 80-90 miles per hour, so he's hanging on to the back, he said, ‘Man, I'm holding on for dear life,'" says Leaks. "And then he would always compliment me when it was over, and say ‘Hey, you could really drive.'"

From his funeral home on the South Side, Leak reflected on King's legacy. King, he said, would be overjoyed to see a black President.

But much of what King came to Chicago to march and fight for has not come to fruition.

"He would be very depressed by the number of black males in prison," Leaks believes. "He would be depressed by the black dropout rate in Chicago Public Schools, he would be depressed by the murder rate where blacks are killing blacks, destroying other blacks."

Leak got his job as Chauffer because his father A.R. Leak Sr. was friends with the head of the Chicago Urban League which had invited Dr. King to come to Chicago.

"In being his chauffer, I felt a part of the movement. I did not recognize the possible danger in being that close to Dr. King. I was just excited about the fact that I was this close to such a great man," he says of Dr. King.

Leak says he shudders when thinks about how King was assassinated and how his own life could have been in danger being that close to him so often. But he also says it was a great time full of memories he'll will never forget. Leak says he wishes he would have kept a diary.

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