Cyril Emmanuel King was born on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, on April 7, 1921. King served with the U.S. Army during World War II.
In 1949 he was appointed as an aide to Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, becoming the first African American to serve in the office of a U.S. senator.
He attended American University and in 1951, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public administration.
In 1957 the Organic Act Committee of the Virgin Islands legislature voted to appoint King as its deputy in Washington, D.C., to secure congressional action to amend the Organic Act — the “constitution” of the Virgin Islands.
King was appointed Acting Governor of the Virgin Islands for a six-month period in 1969.
In 1971, he was appointed Virgin Islands government secretary — a post equivalent to the present position of lieutenant governor. While serving in that position, he represented the State Department on a five-week African tour.
He was elected to the Virgin Islands Senate in 1972. In 1974, King was elected Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands for a four-year term. He died in office on January 2, 1978.
In 1984, the Harry S. Truman Airport on St. Thomas was renamed Cyril E. King Airport by the Virgin Islands Legislature.
A BIT ABOUT COCONUTS
A cultural icon of the tropics, The Coconut Tree is a member of the palm tree family and the only living species of the genus Cocos. The term “coconut” can refer to the whole coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which botanically is a drupe, not a nut. The name comes from the old Portuguese word coco, meaning “head” or “skull”, after the three indentations on the coconut shell that resemble facial features.