Name and location of repository
Level of description
M. Kenton King Oral History
- November 1991 (Creation)
0.50 Linear Feet
Name of creator
M. Kenton King (1924-2009) became the first full-time dean of Washington University School of Medicine in 1965, a position he retained until his retirement in 1989 and thereby making him one of the longest-serving Medical School deans in the United States. His tenure brought much acclaim to the School of Medicine both academically, with the recruitment of new heads in every department, and physically, with the addition of the McDonnell Medical Sciences Building, Clinical Sciences Research Building, Becker Medical Library, and the renovation of the East Building. King's leadership also affected the composition of the student body as his recruitment efforts brought more minority and female students to Washington University.
Born on November 13, 1924, in Oklahoma City, King began his undergraduate studies at the University of Oklahoma. World War II interrupted his academic pursuits when he joined the U.S. Navy in 1943. He participated in the Battle of Okinawa and attained the rank of lieutenant prior to his discharge in 1946. A year later, King earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Oklahoma and decided to attend Vanderbilt University's School of Medicine on the G.I. Bill. He graduated in 1951, ranked seventh in his class. King then completed an internship and a residency at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, becoming chief resident in 1955. When his mentor, W. Barry Wood, transferred to Johns Hopkins University in 1955, King followed and completed a fellowship in microbiology. He returned to Washington University in 1957 as a member of the preventive medicine faculty and head of the Student Health Service.
King's administrative contributions to Washington University School of Medicine began as associate dean in 1961, until he was promoted to dean of the School of Medicine in 1965. In 1967, he also became the first Danforth Professor of Medicine and Public Health. King met his wife, June Greenfield King, at Barnes Hospital. A 1951 graduate of the Washington University School of Nursing, June was also the head nurse on a Barnes Hospital medical and surgical ward. After his retirement in 1989, King remained active in university affairs, organizing the School of Medicine's 100th anniversary celebration in 1991. King died on October 15, 2009.
Scope and content
Interviewed by Marion Hunt in 1991.
System of arrangement
Conditions governing access
The collection is open and accessible for research.
Conditions governing reproduction
Users of the collection should read and abide by the Rights and Permissions guidelines at the Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives.
Users of the collection who wish to cite items from this collection, in whole or in part, in any form of publication must request, sign, and return a Statement of Use form to the Archives.
For detailed information regarding use of this collection, contact the Archives and Rare Book Department of the Becker Library (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Item description, Reference Code, Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives, Washington University in St. Louis.
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"Describing Archives: A Content Standard, Second Edition (DACS), 2013."
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