We all know Martin Luther King, Jr. to be among the world’s greatest educators, freedom fighters, orators, leaders and truth seekers — but his four children knew of many more loving layers to a man who had already earned a pretty high pedestal in society.

Despite all the great accolades Dr. King achieved throughout his short-lived life, there was perhaps one role that held prominence over most and that was being a father to his beloved children.

Dr. King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, welcomed four kids (Dexter, Bernice, Yolanda and Martin Luther King III) — all of whom were once pint-sized toddlers who admired their father for reasons too many to list. Decades after his death, their admiration has not dwindled.

On a day commemorating Dr. King and celebrating his legacy, we invite you to a series of photos that show a rarely pictured and uplifting – but not any less authentic — side to Dr. King during his days in Montgomery, Alabama.