Charles King (academic)

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Charles King
Charles King (academic, 1789–1867).jpg
President of Columbia University
Term 1849 – 1864
Predecessor Nathaniel Fish Moore
Successor Frederick Augustus Porter Barnard
Born (1782-12-25)December 25, 1782
New York City, New York
Died October 1867 (aged 78)
Frascati, Italy

Charles King (March 16, 1789 – October 1867) was an American academic, politician and newspaper editor. He succeeded Nathaniel Fish Moore to become the ninth president of Columbia College (now Columbia University), holding the role from 7 November 1849 to 1864.[1] On his formal inauguration, on November 28, 1849, he spoke on the duties and responsibilities of the university staff, and espoused the virtues of copying the English university system.[2]

Educated in Harrow, England, King was captain of a volunteer regiment in the early part of the War of 1812, and served in 1814 in the New York Assembly, before becoming a newspaper publisher.[3] A Democrat, he was editor of the New York American from 1823 to 1845,[4] where he repeatedly clashed with Mordecai M. Noah, then Editor of the New York Enquirer; Noah nicknamed King "Charles the Pink".[5]

He was the son of one-time trustee, the lawyer and politician Rufus King and his wife Mary Alsop. He was married first to Eliza Gracie, the daughter of shipping magnate Archibald Gracie. Their son Rufus King was father of the soldier and writer General Charles King.[6] After Eliza's death in 1825, Charles married secondly Henrietta Liston Low, daughter of Nicholas Low. Their daughter, Mary Alsop King Waddington, became a writer. Charles King is buried in the Grace Church Cemetery in Jamaica, Queens, New York, New York.[7]


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Academic offices
Preceded by
Nathaniel Fish Moore
President of Columbia College
1849 – 1864
Succeeded by
Frederick Augustus Porter Barnard