As the ex-wife of James Earl Ray, the alleged assassin of Martin Luther King, contemporary artist Anna Sandhu Ray was born on November 13, 1946 in the Unica Mountains of southern Virginia. From her mother, who was also an artist, she learned to appreciate the expression of art at an early age and began painting when she was just three.
Internationally known better for her marriage to James Earl Ray, confessed killer of Dr. Martin Luther King, rather than her impressionistic, yet realistic portraits of life and humanity, Anna has suffered from this association in many ways over the years.
Anna’s first husband, Doctor Sandhu, was of Indian extraction and the marriage lasted over five years. Subsequently Anna became a court artist and met James Earl Ray. Initially, Anna truly believed in his innocence and thought that he was being railroaded into a conviction and thought she could help this seemingly unfair situation and decided to marry him. The marriage occurred on October 13, 1978. Later, she discovered to her shock and dismay during a telephone conversation with James from prison that he actually had assassinated Dr. King.
Immediately she decided to get out of the marriage, but because of many problems, was not able to accomplish that until March 18, 1993. Later in 1995, Anna met John Warren McBee and married. Thus, Anna’s work can be dated by her signature, Anna Sandhu, Anna Sandhu Ray or Anna Sandhu Ray McBee.