That man, Memphis Funeral Director R.S. Lewis, has never talked about the massive job he faced and what it meant to him and the king family.
Forty years after Dr. King's death, Lewis is now telling the story, for history.
40-years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., memories are still painful for R.S. Lewis.
"Just tore me apart just like every other person he was like an idol and just couldn't believe it."
Lewis met Dr. King for the first time,36 hours before he was assassinated.
He was stopped at a traffic light when a car pulled up next to him carrying Dr. King and his pastor.
"I was pulling up at a red light and my pastor said Robert, I want you to meet Dr. King and I said 'oh my gracious you know and we met like that.'"
Thirty-six hours later, Dr. King was dead. King's closest aides asked Lewis to prepare King's body for his funeral.
The Memphis mortician found himself faced with the most difficult challenge of his career.
"The bullet had done so much damage to Martin's face and the autopsy had caused a great deal of despair," said Rev. Samuel Billy Kyles.
Lewis went to the hospital to pick up King's body and as fate would have it, was in the room when Andy Young called Coretta king to tell her what happened.
"She asked him , do you think I should come and he said yes, and it wasn't too long before he had to call her back and tell her it wasn't any need of her coming."
Lewis says he felt incredibly honored to be entrusted with Dr. King's body.
When word spread hundreds of people showed up at Lewis Funeral Home for what became the first viewing and memorial service for the civil rights legend.
Days later, when thousands attended King's funeral in Atlanta, Lewis was there and received a personal thank you from the King family.
For 40 years, Lewis' story stayed between him and a few close people.
Reverend Billy Kyles says Lewis passed up what could have been a fortune in book fees and recognition.
"That is powerful and he never boasted of it or bragged of it he just did it cause it needed to be done," said Kyles.
Now that he's getting along in years, Lewis is taking comfort in the fact that his story is finally being told.
"Yes, because I don't want his memory every to be forgotten and any time its brought out I think people remember that here is a person who is responsible for some of the things that we have done."
And for all that he did for the King family R.S. Lewis refused to take even a penny for his work.
Lewis said Dr. King had already paid him with a life time of leadership.