Summarized by Kent Larsen
Decorated BYU English Professor Arthur Henry King dies
Salt Lake Tribune 17Jan00 P2
OREM, UTAH -- Beloved BYU Professor and Mormon author Arthur Henry
King died Saturday, January 15th after many bouts with Parkinson's
Disease during the last year. King, 89, had received academic and
civic honors in both his native England and in the United States.
King was born into a Quaker family in Gosport, Hampshire, England.
After his father died when he was 9, King was aided by the Society of
Friends when his relatives weren't able to continue to support him. As
a result, King won scholarships to complete his education, culminating
in a doctorate awarded in Lund, Sweden during World War II.
In Sweden, King also got into trouble for writing anti-Nazi
propaganda, and he soon ended up on their blacklist. However, he
managed to survive the war, and continue to teach in Sweden throughout
In 1966, King, then a widower, met and then married his LDS
second-cousin, Patricia, who taught him about the LDS faith, and
persuaded him to join. King then became a devoted convert, writing
many books about the Church and serving in many capacities.
Professionally, King worked after World War II with the British
Council (1945 to 1971), and accompanied by his wife, took a working
tour of the world in 1968, visiting British Empire member states for
the council. He was decorated twice by Queen Elizabeth, who made him
both an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) and a Commander of the
British Empire (CBE) to recognize his overseas work teaching English
as a second or foreign language.
Because he wanted to return to teaching, King gave up his position as
Assistant Director General of the British Council and accepted a
position as professor of English at BYU. There King became a
recognized authority of Shakespeare and a specialist in linguistics.
Because he was childless, King named more than 50 honorary children,
who became increasingly important to him as he aged. He retired in
1997 at age 87 because of increasing ill health. But his retirement
was a busy one, as he continued to work. A book of his post-conversion
poems is reportedly in preparation.
He was a founding member of the Swedish Vetenskaps Society and a
longtime member of Britain's prestigious club, the Athenaeum.