Bachelor of Science, Washington State College, 1918. Master of Science, University Pittsburgh, 1920. Doctor of Philosophy, University Pittsburgh, 1923.
Postgraduate, Columbia, 1927. Postgraduate, Cambridge University, England, 1930. Doctor of Science, Washington State College, 1950.
Doctor of Science, University Pittsburgh, 1950. Doctor of Science, Drexel Institute, 1955. Doctor Public Service, Denison University, 1961.
A biography of King states that many feel he deserves equal cr with Szent-Györgyi for the discovery of this vitamin. He entered Washington State University early, as his local one-room school did not have a twelfth grade. World War I interrupted his college studies, where he served in the 12th Infantry, a machine gun company.
He did not receive his Bachelor of Surgery in chemistry until 1918.
From the outset of his graduate studies, the nascent field of vitamins interested him. He remained in Pittsburgh as professor until 1942, when he left to become the first scientific director of the Nutrition Foundation, Incorporated., which worked to promote scientific and public health research, both in the United States. and internationally.
King"s contribution to the science of nutrition revolves around his isolation of vitamin C in 1931-1932 by studying the antiscorbic activities of guinea pigs with preparations from lemon juice. Albert Szent-Györgyi was conducting similar research at the University of Szeged in Hungary, focusing on hexuronic acid.
The chemical identity of King"s active substance was almost identical to Szent-Györgyi"s hexuronic acid, but the research of South.S. Silva had declared the hexuronic acid was not vitamin C. However, within two weeks of each other in the spring of 1932, King first, and then Szent-Györgyi, published articles declaring that vitamin C and hexuronic acid were indeed the same compound.
King later established the important functional role of vitamin B, and throughout his 40-year research career made many significant contributions in the areas of fats, enzymes and vitamins. King authored over 200 articles on good nutritional practices and the positive effects of vitamins. Apart from his work with the Nutrition Foundation, King"s public service activities involved creation of the United States Department of Agriculture"s Plant, Soil, and Nutrition Laboratory in Ithaca, New New York He helped establish the Food and Nutrition Board, dealing with food and nutrition problems in military and civilian populations, beginning in World World War II and continuing through 1970.
He also helped create the Food Protection Committee, the Recommended Dietary Allowances, the Protein Advisory Group, and the International Union of Nutritional Sciences.
He also served on the advisory council to the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases. King officially retired from the Nutrition Foundation in 1963, only to begin a second career as Associate Director of the Institute of Nutrition Sciences and a consultant to the Rockefeller Foundation.
Trustee Boyce Thompson Institute, 1957-1975, Food Law Institute, 1950-1962. President 5th International Congress on Nutrition, 1960. Member Food and Nutrition Board, 1940-1970.
Served as private 12th Infantry Machine Gun Company, 1918. Member International Union Nutritional Sciences (president 1966-1969, honorary president 1972-1988), New York Academy Medicine, American Chemical Society, American Society Biological Chemists (president 1954-1955), Institute Food Technologists, National Academy of Sciences (executive committee international council science unions 1966-1969), American Forestry Association, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Institute Nutrition (president 1949-1950), American Public Health Association (treasurer 1949-1960, president 1961-1962), Royal Society Health (England), Harvey Society, Nutrition Society (England), Finland Society Biochemistry, Biophysics and Microbiology (honorary), Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, Omicron Delta Kappa. Clubs: Century (New York City).
Married Hilda Bainton, September 11, 1919. Children— Dorothy, Robert Bainton, Kendall Willard.