10 of the Most Fascinating ‘Playboy’ Interviews

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Martin Luther King, Jr., 1965

If you only read one interview on our list, please make it this one. The civil rights leader sat down for an in-depth talk about the movement. He addresses claims of extremism, and shares poignant stories about his boyhood and the people he encountered along his journey for freedom. A passage about the many threats to his life is absolutely heartbreaking:

“If I were constantly worried about death, I couldn’t function. After a while, if your life is more or less constantly in peril, you come to a point where you accept the possibility philosophically. I must face the fact, as all others in positions of leadership must do, that America today is an extremely sick nation, and that something could well happen to me at any time. I feel, though, that my cause is so right, so moral, that if I should lose my life, in some way it would aid the cause.”

King concludes the interview with a moving and beautiful statement that is all the more powerful since the anniversary of his “I Have a Dream” speech just passed:

“I subject myself to self-purification and to endless self-analysis; I question and soul-search constantly into myself to be as certain as I can that I am fulfilling the true meaning of my work, that I am maintaining my sense of purpose, that I am holding fast to my ideals, that I am guiding my people in the right direction. But whatever my doubts, however heavy the burden, I feel that I must accept the task of helping to make this nation and this world a better place to live in — for all men, black and white alike.”