Len King

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The Honourable

Len King

Leonard James King

(1925-05-01)1 May 1925
Died23 June 2011(2011-06-23) (aged 86)
Alma materUniversity of Adelaide
Parent(s)Michael King
Mary King (nee Ryan)
AwardsCompanion of the Order of Australia (AC)
Member of the South Australian Parliament
for Coles
In office
30 May 1970 (1970-05-30) – 12 July 1975 (1975-07-12)
Preceded byNone
Succeeded byDes Corcoran
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia
In office
30 October 1978 (1978-10-30) – 28 April 1995 (1995-04-28)
Preceded byJohn Bray
Succeeded byJohn Doyle
Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia
In office
20 June 1975 (1975-06-20) – 30 October 1978 (1978-10-30)
40th Attorney-General of South Australia
In office
2 June 1970 (1970-06-02) – 20 June 1975 (1975-06-20)
Preceded byRobin Millhouse
Succeeded byDon Dunstan

Leonard James King AC QC (1 May 1925 – 23 June 2011) was an Australian politician, lawyer and judge.[1]

Early life[edit]

King matriculated from St Joseph's Memorial School at age 14, then worked at Shell Company as a clerk. He served in the Royal Australian Air Force in Australia and New Guinea during World War II, and used the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme to commence study for his law degree.[2]

Legal career[edit]

King was admitted to practice as a barrister and solicitor in December 1950, and appointed Queen's Counsel in 1967.[2]

Political career[edit]

King was an Labor Party member of the South Australian House of Assembly from 1970 to 1975, representing the eastern suburbs electoral district of Coles. He was appointed to various ministerial portfolios during his career, including Aboriginal Affairs, Social Welfare, Community Welfare, and Prices & Consumer Affairs. In late 20th century South Australian history, he is one of the few newly-elected members of Parliament that have been appointed straight to a Cabinet position without any previous parliamentary experience. He was the 40th Attorney-General of South Australia during the reformist Don Dunstan government, from 1970 until 1975.

Judicial career[edit]

King was a puisne justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia from 20 June 1975 until his promotion to Chief Justice on 30 October 1978. He retired on 28 April 1995.[3] King worked until his death as a part-time mediator and sometimes as an Acting Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia.


King was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in the 1987 Queen's Birthday Honours "For service to the South Australian Parliament, Government and to the law."[4][5]


The South Australian Electoral district of King was created before the 2018 state election and named after Len King. It covers the northern foothills of the Mount Lofty Ranges including Bibaringa, Yattalunga, Uleybury, One Tree Hill, Gould Creek, Hillbank, Salisbury Park, Salisbury Heights, Greenwith, Golden Grove and part of Salisbury East[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Morialta electorate profile - 2006 state election: ABC elections
  2. ^ a b c "Final Redistribution Report". South Australian Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  3. ^ "Len King". Len King Chambers. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  4. ^ "KING, Leonard James". It's an Honour. Australian Government. 8 June 1987. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  5. ^ 1987 Queen's Birthday Honours, archived from www.gg.gov.au

External links[edit]

Parliament of South Australia
Preceded by
New electorate
Member for Coles
Succeeded by
Des Corcoran
Political offices
Preceded by
Robin Millhouse
Attorney-General of South Australia
Succeeded by
Don Dunstan
Legal offices
Preceded by
John Bray
Chief Justice of the
Supreme Court of South Australia

30 October 1978 – 28 April 1995
Succeeded by
John Doyle