Ernest J. King Professor of Maritime History
In May 1948, the President of the Naval War College Admiral Raymond Spruance recommended a plan to establish a civilian professorship of maritime history at the Naval War College. Approved by Secretary of the Navy John L. Sullivan (Navy) on 29 December 1948, the post was not filled “for lack of funds” until 1951, when Thomas C. Mendenhall of Yale University was appointed to the position. In 1953, Secretary of the Navy Robert Bernard Anderson named the chair in honor of Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King, recognizing King’s great personal interest in maritime history. The Ernest J. King chair was named and first filled during the tenure of Professor Clarence H. Haring. At that point, there was only one other named academic chair in the United States for the field of maritime history, that held by the Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History and Affairs established at Harvard University in 1948. The Naval War College’s first permanent long-term civilian faculty member came in 1966 and its larger civilian faculty began in 1972. Between 1951 and 1973, the King Chair was regularly held as a one-year visiting appointment. It became a permanent faculty appointment in 1974. The position reverted to a visiting professorship in October 2016.
List of Professors
• 1974-1980 Philip A. Crowl
• 1980-1984 Vacant
• 1984–2016 John Hattendorf
• 2016-2017 John Hattendorf in Emeritus status
• 2017-2019 Craig Symonds
- John B. Hattendorf, B. Mitchell Simpson III, and John R. Wadleigh, Sailors and Scholars: The Centennial History of the U.S. Naval War College. (Newport; Naval War College Press, 1984), p. 205.
- Naval War College Library