Edward J. King

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Edward Joseph King
Edward J. King.jpg
66th Governor of Massachusetts
In office
January 4, 1979 – January 6, 1983
Lieutenant Thomas P. O'Neill III
Preceded by Michael Dukakis
Succeeded by Michael Dukakis
Personal details
Born (1925-05-11)May 11, 1925
Chelsea, Massachusetts
Died September 18, 2006( 2006-09-18) (aged 81)
Burlington, Massachusetts
Political party Democrat (Switched to Republican after leaving office)
Spouse(s) Josephine "Jody" King
Religion Roman Catholic
Edward J. King
No. 34
Position: Guard / Defensive end
Career information
College: Boston College
Career history
Player stats at PFR

Edward Joseph "Ed" King (May 11, 1925 – September 18, 2006) was the 66th Governor of the U.S. state of Massachusetts from 1979 to 1983.

Early life

King was born on May 11, 1925 in Chelsea, Massachusetts. During his teens, King worked as a Pinsetter in a Revere Beach bowling alley to help pay for his schooling. Toward the end of World War II he served in the United States Navy. He was given a medical discharge due to a broken ankle.[1]

Athletic career

King graduated from Boston College in 1948 and went on to played professional football as a guard with the All-America Football Conference Buffalo Bisons from 1948 to 1949 and the National Football League's Baltimore Colts in 1950.


After his athletic career, King took accounting and business courses at Bentley College. In 1953 he went to work for the accounting firm of Lybrand, Ross Bros., & Montgomery. After performing an audit for the Museum of Science he was hired to serve as its assistant director and comptroller.[1]

In 1959 King became comptroller for the newly formed Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport). He later became the port authority's secretary-treasurer. In 1963 he became the Authority's executive director.[1]

During King's tenure as executive director, Logan International Airport was transformed into a modern facility. Upgrades were made to the runways and terminals and the Volpe International Terminal (Terminal E) was built. Under King's watch, the authority went from a deficit to a surplus. However, he was criticized for ignoring the wishes of East Boston residents during airport expansion projects. His critics also claim that the airport's success was not due to King, but due to the success of the jet age. Massport also became known for providing legislators with jobs for their constituents, gifts, and no-bid contracts.[1]

King had a poor relationship with the Massachusetts Port Authority Board of Directors, who wanted King to consult with the board before he proceeded with the expansion of the airport and other projects. In December 1974 the board voted 4 to 2 to fire King.[1]

New England Council

After his dismissal, King became president of the New England Council, a regional Chamber of commerce-like organization funded by business interests. In this position, King performed a variety of duties, including lobbying the federal government for legislation to limit environment restrictions on business and coordinating an attempt to have the national solar energy research center located in New England.[1]


On October 25, 1977, King announced that he would seek the Democratic nomination for Governor. A fiscal and social conservative, King ran as a pro-life candidate and supported capital punishment, offshore drilling, increased nuclear power, greater research on solar energy, less business regulation, raising the drinking age to 21, and mandatory sentences for drug dealers.[2][3] King was able to raise more money than his opponents due to his support from the business community. King focused his spending on extensive media advertising while his main primary opponent, incumbent Governor Michael Dukakis, spent more money on organization.[4]

In September 1978, King defeated Dukakis in the Democratic primary. He then went on to defeat a liberal Republican, Massachusetts House Minority Leader Francis W. Hatch, Jr., in the November election.

During his term of office, King froze property taxes, reduced state spending on social programs, undertook a variety of efforts to encourage increased business and agricultural opportunities in the Commonwealth, introduced mandatory minimum sentences, and passed legislation to reintroduce the death penalty in Massachusetts, a measure which was later ruled unconstitutional by the state's Supreme Judicial Court. When advocating capital punishment, President Ronald Reagan called King his "favorite Democratic governor" and King endorsed Reagan in the 1984 Presidential election.[5]

King was defeated for the Democratic nomination for governor by Michael Dukakis in 1982.

Following his term of office, Governor King joined the public relations firm of Hill & Knowlton. In 1985 King switched his party affiliation to the Republican Party[6] and considered running for governor in 1986 and 1990 on the Republican ticket. Until the time of his death, he maintained residences in both Massachusetts and Florida.

His wife Josephine died in 1995. He was survived by two sons, Timothy and Brian; two sisters, Helen Kennedy and Mary King; and five grandchildren. His brother Paul was a judge in the Massachusetts court system.


The King Cabinet
Governor Edward J. King 1979 – 1983
Lt. Governor Thomas P. O'Neill III 1979 – 1983
Secretary of Transportation Barry Locke
James Carlin
1979 – 1981
1981 – 1983
Secretary of Communities and Development Byron J. Matthews 1979 – 1983
Secretary of Environmental Affairs John A. Bewick 1979 – 1983
Secretary of Consumer Affairs Eileen Schell 1979 – 1983
Secretary of Human Services Charles F. Mahoney
William T. Hogan
1979 – 1981
1981 – 1983
Secretary of Elder Affairs Stephen Guptill
Thomas H. D. Mahoney
1979 – 1979
1979 – 1983
Secretary of Administration and Finance Edward Hanley
David M. Bartley
1979 – 1981
1981 – 1983
Secretary of Public Safety George Luciano 1979 – 1983
Secretary of Economic Affairs George Kariotis 1979 – 1983
Secretary of Energy Joseph S. Fitzpatrick
Margaret St. Clair
1979 – 1981
1981 – 1983


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Turner, Robert L. (November 5, 1978). "King or Hatch?". The Boston Globe.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Turner, Robert L. (October 26, 1977). "King opens campaign with blast at Dukakis". The Boston Globe.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Nick King; Laurence Collins (September 17, 1978). "A final blitz for votes". The Boston Globe.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Nick King; Walter V. Robinson (August 13, 1978). "3 Democrats get ready for the final push". The Boston Globe.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. W. James Antle III (2006-09-29) King Is Dead, The American Spectator
  6. Edsall, Thomas (1988-07-11) Dukakis: A Political Evolution. Engineering a Comeback; New Persona, Policies Buoy Second Term, Washington Post

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Michael Dukakis
Massachusetts Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate
1978 (won)
Succeeded by
Michael Dukakis
Political offices
Preceded by
Michael Dukakis
Governor of Massachusetts
January 4, 1979 – January 6, 1983
Succeeded by
Michael Dukakis