Eminent entrepreneur and philanthropist Frank Islam has been presented with the Martin Luther King Jr Award, by Harry Johnson president of the Memorial Foundation, for his contribution to the legacy of the great leader, through his efforts in international service and civil engagement, and for working to keep the "dream alive". Acknowledging the honour, Islam said he is proud and humbled by the Award, and he always felt there is an indelible connection between Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi, both of whom have been beacons to him in his personal life and his charitable and philanthropic involvement. Islam has given to numerous causes to support humanitarian efforts and to advance the interests of the under-served in the world. In 1954 King visited India, studied the non-violent movement and patterned the protests he led after those of Gandhi. Born in Azamgarh to a peasant father, Islam moved to the US when he was just 15 with less than $500 in his pocket and moved on to become successful. He bought a struggling IT company in Maryland in 1993 with $50,000 raised by mortgaging his house. He sold his IT company in 2007 and spent the rest of his life in philanthropy in India and the US. He is a board member of several think tanks, academic, and cultural organisations including the Kennedy Centre for Performing Arts, the Brookings Institute and the US Institute of Peace.