History: A Hero's Footnotes of Clay

Evidence surfaces of plagiarism by Martin Luther King

The historian's dream -- a major discovery about an important person -- is more of a nightmare for Stanford University professor Clayborne Carson. An admirer of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and an expert on black America, Carson was picked by King's widow Coretta to head the team that is compiling the civil rights leader's papers. Two years ago, Carson's staff came upon unsettling signs of plagiarism.

Carson ordered researchers to document any instances where King had lifted other persons' words and ideas without credit. They were extensive. The board of the King Papers Project, at a 1989 meeting attended...

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