David King, prominent Demo from Utah, dies

Published: Sunday, May 10 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

Former U.S. Rep. David S. King, D-Utah, who served three terms in Congress and was an ambassador to two African countries, was buried Saturday in suburban Maryland.

He died Tuesday at age 91.

He was a House member from 1959 to 1963 and again from 1965-67 when civil rights legislation was being debated and the U.S. space program was just beginning (he supported both).

Mr. King grew up in politics. His father, William H. King, was a two-term U.S. House member from Utah and a four-term U.S. senator.

David King ran for (and lost) the Senate after two House terms in 1962 against former Sen. Wallace Bennett, R-Utah (the father of current Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah).

He had one of the more distinguished careers among ex-members of Congress from Utah. That included serving for three years as the U.S. ambassador to the African island nations of Madagascar and Mauritius (he spoke fluent French, an official language there).

President Jimmy Carter also appointed him as a director of the World Bank, which provides loans to help developing nations.

Mr. King remained in the Washington, D.C., area after he was defeated in Congress and became an LDS bishop in Kensington, Md.

While in that assignment, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints chose a site within its boundaries for its Washington Temple. Mr. King later because president of that temple for three years.

He also wrote a book about temples titled "Come to the House of the Lord."

Mr. King also served three years as president of the LDS mission in Haiti. Interspersed among those assignments, he was a lawyer specializing in international trade.

Two years ago, he told the Deseret News that he had been too busy to miss Congress much.

"Do I miss any of it? A little bit. It (Congress) is exciting, and it's exciting to debate and defend causes in which you have strong beliefs. Sometimes I look back a bit, but not much. I'm very satisfied with my life," he said two years ago.

"The problem with serving in Congress is that you make enemies. You cannot avoid it. If you don't make enemies, you are not doing your job. You have to be a forceful advocate. It's a little contrary to my nature. I guess I'm a man of peace," he said.

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS