Minister Louis Farrakhan Muhammad, Sr. (born Louis Eugene Walcott; May 11, 1933) is the leader of the Chicago, Illinois-based Nation of Islam (NOI). He served as the minister of major mosques in Boston and Harlem, and was appointed by the longtime NOI leader, Elijah Muhammad, before his death in 1975, as the National Representative of the Nation of Islam. After Warith Deen Muhammad disbanded the NOI and started the orthodox Islamic group American Society of Muslims, Farrakhan started rebuilding the NOI. In 1981 he revived the name Nation of Islam for his organization, previously known as Final Call, regaining many of the Nation of Islam's National properties including the NOI National Headquarters Mosque Maryam, reopening over 130 NOI mosques in America and the World.
Farrakhan is a Black religious and social leader, and a critic of the United States government on many issues, including the call to murder white people and bring forth an end of their ruling age. Farrakhan has been both praised and widely criticized for his often controversial political views and outspoken rhetorical style. In October 1995, he called and led the Million Man March in Washington, D.C., calling on black men to renew their commitments to their families and communities. Due to health issues, in 2007, Farrakhan reduced his responsibilities with the NOI.
He was born Louis Eugene Walcott (also spelled Wolcott) in 1933 in The Bronx, New York, the younger of two sons of Sarah Mae Manning (16 January 1900 – 18 November 1988) and Percival Clark, immigrants from the Caribbean islands. His mother was born in Saint Kitts and Nevis. His father was a Jamaican native and worked as a taxicab driver. After Louis' father died in 1936, the Walcott family moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where they settled in the West Indian neighborhood of the Roxbury area.