Two people who stood up for what they believed in were Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. Both men came from modest beginnings and worked their way into the public eye while fearlessly speaking out on what they believed in, which was human rights.
After growing up on a small farm in Indiana, Lincoln eventually was elected to the Illinois state legislature in 1834. He then served a term in the House of Representatives from 1847 to 1849, during which he spoke out fervently about the Mexican-American War. Elected president in 1860, Lincoln pressed his view that all men were equal according to the Constitution and abolished slavery in 1863 with the Emancipation Proclamation.
Martin Luther King Jr., also from a humble childhood, advanced through school and university to earn a doctorate in Theology in 1955. Speaking out for human rights was his major platform, and King led the first non-violent Negro demonstration in the United States in the bus boycott of 1955, which lasted 382 days. During these days, King was abused, arrested and had his home bombed, yet he remained poised as a leader for civil rights of all men and women. This gained him worldwide notoriety, and King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
Both Lincoln and King were assassinated.