Cyril Emmanuel King
Former Governor of the United States Virgin Islands
Cyril Emmanuael King was the second elected Governor of the United States Virgin Islands.
Early life and education
Cyril Emmanuael King was born on 7 April 1921 in Frederiksted, U.S. Virgin Islands in Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands and grew up on the island. During World War II, King served in the 873rd Port Company in Hawaii. After service, he attended American University where he earned a public administration degree (1951).
In 1949 he was appointed as an aide to Senator Hubert Humphrey, becoming the first black to serve in the office of a U.S. senator. In 1957 the Organic Act Committee of the Virgin Islands legislature voted to appoint King as its deputy in Washington, D.C., to secure congressional action to amend the Organic Act, the "constitution" of the Virgin Islands.
In 1971 President Kennedy appointed him Virgin Islands government secretary, a post equivalent to the present position of lieutenant governor. While serving in that position, he represented the State Department on a five-week African tour.
King was Acting Governor of the Virgin Islands for six months in 1969, was elected to the Virgin Islands Senate in 1972, and was elected governor for a four-year term in 1974 as the candidate for the Independent Citizens Movement.
King was married to Agnes Agatha Schuster and was the father of one daughter, Lillia.
Death and legacy
King died in office on 2 January 1978, aged 56. At the time of his death, he had been planning to run for a second term.
Local statute in the Virgin Islands puts aside April 7, King's birthday, as "Cyril Emmanuel King Day".
In 1984, the Harry S. Truman Airport on St. Thomas was renamed Cyril E. King Airport by the Virgin Islands Legislature.