Meaning & History
From a German surname, itself from the Germanic given name LEUTHAR. The surname was borne by Martin Luther, a 16th-century monk and theologian, who started the Protestant Reformation by nailing his famous 95 theses to a church door. It has since been used as a given name in his honour, especially among Protestants. A notable bearer from the modern era was the American civil rights leader Martin Luther King (1929-1968).
Depiction of Martin Luther by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1533)
Martin Luther King (1964)
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Entry updated October 11, 2012