Edward Joseph King
Painting by Robert A. Anderson

Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: 1979-1983

Not only did Edward King hold degrees from Boston College and Bentley College, but he also pursued a successful career in professional football. He played guard for the Buffalo Bills from 1948-1949 and played for the NFL's Baltimore Colts in 1950. King became associated with the Museum of Science and was a manager in the quasi-public authority Massport from 1959-1974, rising to become its Executive Director.

King served as President of the New England Council, a non-profit alliance of business and social leaders focused on regional economic growth from 1975-1977. He mounted a successful pro-business challenge to incumbent Governor Michael Dukakis, winning by over 100,000 votes in the 1978 Democratic primary.

Governor King froze property taxes, reduced state spending on social programs, and undertook a variety of efforts to encourage business formation and agriculture in Massachusetts. He identified the need for greater centralized data and technology planning in state government, creating a new division for this inside the Executive Office of Administration and Finance. Advocating capital punishment, President Reagan called King his "favorite Democratic Governor," which mobilized the liberal members of King's own party to defeat him. In 1982, he was upset in the party primary by Michael Dukakis. Edward King served the remainder of his term, joining the public relations firm Hill & Knowlton following his service as Governor.