Malcolm Little was born to mother Louise Little and father Earl Little. When Little was 6, his father was killed in a street car accident, which was rumored to be an act by white racists. Malcolm X later said that violence by whites killed three of his father's brothers.
Malcolm Little excelled in junior high school but dropped out after a white teacher told him that practicing law, his aspiration at the time, was "no realistic goal for a nigger". In his later life Malcolm X has kept on mentioning his feeling that the white world offered no place for a career-oriented black man, regardless of talent.
From age 14 to 21, Malcolm X stayed in Roxbury, a largely African-American neighborhood of Boston. He took up a variety of jobs there. In 1943, he moved to New York where he got engaged in drug dealing, gambling, racketeering, robbery, and pimping. He tried to enter into the military but was declared "mentally disqualified for military service".
He was arrested in 1946 and was sent to Charlestown State Prison for 8-10 years for larceny and breaking and entering. After his parole in 1952, he became active with the activities of “Nation of Islam” – a group formed to bring African Americans at equal rights with White Americans. He was responsible to increase the followers of this group and spread its teachings. Because of internal issues he left the group in 1964 and went ahead to form Muslim Mosque, Inc., a religious organization, and the Organization of Afro-American Unity, a secular group that advocated Pan-Africanism.
In April 1964, Malcolm X gave a speech titled "The Ballot or the Bullet", in which he advised African Americans to exercise their right to vote wisely but cautioned that if the government continued to prevent African Americans from attaining full equality, it might be necessary for them to take up arms.
At the End
On February 21, 1965, Malcolm X was preparing to address the Organization of Afro-American Unity in Manhattan's Audubon Ballroom when someone in the 400-person audience rushed forward and shot him once in the chest, two other men charged the stage firing semi-automatic handguns. He was pronounced dead at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.