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For week ended January 23, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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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 the war.

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.


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