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David George Ball

Author of A Marked Heart




“An inspiring tale of how one person can truly make a difference.”   Elizabeth Dole: U.S. Senator, 2003-2009; Secretary of Labor, 1989-1990

 E-Mail the Author <----> Buy Book at Bruton Parish Book & Gift Shop or Buy on line at Amazon

When David Ball, an immigrant and scholarship student, invited Martin Luther King to speak at Yale, the direction of his life changed forever.

About the Book

Cover Photo below shows David helping Martin Luther King cut a cake at Yale on January 15th, 1959, to celebrate King's 30th Birthday.


The son of a missionary and a Baptist minister, seventeen-year-old immigrant David George Ball was following his destiny to become a pastor. He had always dreamed of making a difference in people's lives. But when he met the then relatively unknown Martin Luther King Jr., the course of Ball's life changed forever.

In this memoir, A Marked Heart, Ball narrates his journey: beginning with growing up in wartime England; immigrating to the United States in 1954 to take the pastor's course at Chicago's Moody Bible Institute; attending Yale University as a scholarship student; and, most importantly, meeting King. Later, he worked on Wall Street as a lawyer, started a family, championed the 401(k) plan, and served as Assistant Secretary of Labor.

A Marked Heart describes how Ball's encounter with King inspired the rest of his life's work, and it provides a multifaceted look at his immigration, education, family relationships, career, and his commitment to public service. Though Ball never became a minister, his story communicates how his commitment to God and prayer guided his life.


About the Author



The son of a Baptist minister and a missionary, David Ball grew up in the midst of rationing and bombing in wartime England. He came to America in 1954 to take the pastors’ course at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.

Later as a scholarship student at Yale, he invited the relatively unknown Martin Luther King Jr. to speak at a lecture series he had organized. Inspired by King’s example and interested in politics, he wanted to make a positive difference in people’s lives.


Instead of the ministry, David’s quest led him to a Wall Street law firm. He became interested in helping workers who changed jobs and were unable to take their pensions with them. In 1981 as an executive at AMAX, Inc., he championed the first 401(k) plan adopted by a large industrial company.


When President George H. W. Bush nominated him as Assistant Secretary of Labor in 1989, David fulfilled his dream by getting out a road map to open up the revolutionary 401(k) program. Today over 70 million Americans have 401(k) plans.

Reviews and Endorsements


Click Here for the latest five-star Review by C. William Gee, published in ForeWord Reviews.  


"A Marked Heart is the story of a remarkable political achievement. But it is also much more than that. It addresses the challenge of finding the way out of the relentless struggle for the approval of others. The depth and personal honesty found in this book offers all of us great encouragement.” -- David L. Boren, President, University of Oklahoma and U. S. Senator (D-OK) 1979-94


“A heart-warming portrait of faith in an amazing journey inspired by Martin Luther King.” -- The Rt. Reverend Herman Hollerith IV, Bishop of the Diocese of Southern Virginia, The Episcopal Church


“What an wonderful memoir of a young man who came from England to Moody to take the pastor’s course, met Martin Luther King at Yale, and went on to outstanding public service! A Marked Heart reminds all of us where to look for help in coping with the conflicts and pressures in our lives.” -- Marvin E. Beckman, General Counsel, Moody Bible Institute



“In early life David George Ball, like Mr. Justice Holmes, had the break of being 'touched by fire', having a religious father, a strict mother and contact with Martin Luther King Jr. If this Nation is to remain great, such ideas as expressed in David's book should be introduced  to persons in their last year of high school or first year of college.” -- William T. Coleman, Jr., O’ Melveny & Myers, Chairman of NAACP Legal Defense Fund 1977-1997 and Secretary of Transportation 1975-1977

To learn more about the book -->  David's 2011 Interview with Radio Talk-Show host Neal Steele

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