Gregory and others who knew and worked with King will share stories and memories Monday at a ceremony at a banquet hall in Aurora, Ill. This appearance will be different from the 250 speeches Gregory makes every year, the Aurora Beacon News reported Sunday.
Gregory travels the country giving speeches about the problems facing African-American society today. His life of activism and his commitment to non-violence began when he met King in the early 1960s, the report said.
"It's hard to believe that anyone could have such influence on a worldwide level in just 12 years," Gregory told the newspaper, referring to the time King spent pioneering the U.S. civil rights movement until his assassination in 1968.
The two men marched side by side, even ending up in jail together on a few occasions, the Beacon News reported.