Oliver, King (Joseph Oliver), 1885-1938, American jazz musician, b. Abend, La. Oliver began his professional career in 1904 with the Onward Brass Band. After playing with leading bands in New Orleans and establishing himself as a master cornetist, he moved to Chicago in 1918. From 1920 to 1923 he led the Creole Jazz Band, which became the greatest exponent of the New Orleans, or "Dixieland," jazz idiom. Oliver's style was noted for its bursting, exuberant power and its great range. He strongly influenced Louis Armstrong.

See M. T. Williams, King Oliver (1961), and G. Schuller, Early Jazz (1968).

King, B. B., 1925-, African-American blues singer and guitarist, b. near Indianola, Miss., as Riley B. King. He grew up poor in the Mississippi Delta region, began playing the guitar at 12, was a street corner performer as a teenager, and as a young man worked as a singing, guitar-playing radio disk jockey in Memphis. King came to prominence as a blues guitarist in 1952 with his chart-topping recording of Three O'clock Blues. Known as the "Beale Street Blues Boy," later simply B. B., King, along with guitarists such as Muddy Waters and "T-Bone" Walker, popularized electric blues music. Introducing the blues to pop audiences in the late 1960s and early 70s, King also greatly influenced a variety of white rock guitarists. His inability to play guitar and sing simultaneously led him to use the guitar to punctuate his songs, relying heavily on his left hand to achieve rich, textural tones with dramatic, almost vocal vibrato. Among the best known of his many albums are Live at the Regal (1965), Live at Cook County Jail (1971), and Riding with the King (2000), recorded with Eric Clapton. Playing his famous guitar, "Lucille," he has continued to record and tour into the 21st cent. King has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received the Presidential Medal of the Arts in 1990 and Kennedy Center Honors in 1995.

See his autobiography, Blues All around Me (1996).

King, Billie Jean, 1943-, American tennis player, b. Long Beach, Calif., as Billie Jean Moffitt. She began playing tennis at age 11 and enjoyed success from age 15 when she won the Southern California championship in her age group. She won 67 tournament titles and 20 Wimbledon titles, including singles in 1966-68, 1972-73, and 1975. She was the U.S. Lawn Tennis women's singles champion in 1967, 1971-72, and 1974. In 1973 she defeated Bobby Riggs in a "battle of the sexes." An aggressive, hard-hitting competitor, she turned professional in 1968. Very active in the women's rights movement, particularly in the area of equality of wages, in the 1970s she was one of the founders of the Women's Tennis Association and cofounded a magazine, Womensport.
King, Charles Bird, 1785-1862, American portrait painter, b. Newport, R.I. He studied under Edward Savage and with Benjamin West in London. His work, executed in Washington, D.C., included Native American portraits for a 3-volume work on the tribes of North America, still lifes, and portraits of eminent Americans. His portraits of Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun are in the Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C.
King, Clarence, 1842-1901, American geologist, b. Newport, R.I., grad. Sheffield Scientific School, Yale, 1862. After serving as a volunteer assistant in the California state geological survey (1863-65, 1866), he persuaded Congress to appropriate funds for the Fortieth Parallel Survey (1867-72), of which he was made geologist in charge. For the survey's reports he wrote the geological sections of J. D. Hague's Mining Industry (1870), a classic in economic geology, and Systematic Geology (1878), a reconstruction of the geologic history of the Cordilleran region. He also exposed the great diamond hoax of 1872, determining that the mine had been salted. King was appointed (1879) director of the newly created U.S. Geological Survey, which he organized; in 1881 he retired to private practice as a mining engineer. His often fabulous Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada (1872) is occasionally fable.

See biographies by T. Wilkins (1958) and R. Wilson (2006).

King, Coretta Scott, 1927-2006, American civil-rights leader, b. Heiberger, Ala.; the wife (1953-68) of Martin Luther King, Jr. After her husband's assassination, she carried on his civil-rights work. She also campaigned to have his birthday commemorated as a national holiday, which was first observed in 1986, and establihsed the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Non-Violent Social Change in Atlanta. In the late 1990s she and other family members supported the unsuccessful efforts of James Earl Ray, the convicted assassin of her husband, to win a new trial, believing that Martin Luther King was the victim of a conspiracy that may have included members of the U.S. government. In 1999 she and her family brought and won a wrongful death suit against Loyd Jowers, who claimed to have arranged King's assassination for a Mafia figure. Many experts, however, were not convinced by the evidence presented during the trial. She wrote My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr. (1969).
King, Ernest Joseph, 1878-1956, American admiral, commander in chief of the U.S. fleet (1941-45), b. Lorain, Ohio. A graduate of Annapolis, he distinguished himself in many branches of naval service, including the submarine and air arms. In World War I he was assistant chief of staff to Admiral Henry T. Mayo, commander of the Atlantic Fleet. King himself commanded (Feb.-Dec., 1941) the Atlantic Fleet and then became commander of the U.S. naval forces. King also became (Mar., 1942) chief of naval operations and directed the naval strategy that took the U.S. fleet into Japanese waters. He was made (1944) fleet admiral (five-star admiral) and retired from the navy a year later.

See his autobiographical Fleet Admiral King: A Naval Record (with W. M. Whitehill, 1952).

King, Henry, 1592-1669, English poet. He became bishop of Chichester in 1642. Elegies constitute nearly half his work, his most notable being "The Exequy," written on the death of his young wife. However, he is chiefly remembered for his love poem "Tell me no more how fair she is."

See his poems, ed. by M. Crum (1965); R. Berman, Henry King & the Seventeenth Century (1964); bibliography by G. Keynes (1977).

King, Henry Churchill, 1858-1934, American theologian and educator, b. Hillsdale, Mich. At Oberlin from 1884, he taught in succession mathematics, philosophy, and theology. He was president of the college from 1902 to 1927. Prominent in the councils of the Congregational Church, he was moderator (1919-21) of its National Council and chairman (1921-27) of the Congregational Foundation for Education. Among his many books are Rational Living (1905), The Ethics of Jesus (1910), Fundamental Questions (1917), and Seeing Life Whole (1923).

See study by R. Berman (1964).

King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-68, American clergyman and civil-rights leader, b. Atlanta, Ga., grad. Morehouse College (B.A., 1948), Crozer Theological Seminary (B.D., 1951), Boston Univ. (Ph.D., 1955). The son of the pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, King became (1954) minister of the Dexter Ave. Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala. He led the black boycott (1955-56) of segregated city bus lines and in 1956 gained a major victory and prestige as a civil-rights leader when Montgomery buses began to operate on a desegregated basis.

King organized the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), which gave him a base to pursue further civil-rights activities, first in the South and later nationwide. His philosophy of nonviolent resistance led to his arrest on numerous occasions in the 1950s and 60s. His campaigns had mixed success, but the protest he led in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963 brought him worldwide attention. He spearheaded the Aug., 1963, March on Washington, which brought together more than 200,000 people. The protests he led helped to assure the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the year he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The following year King and the SCLC led a campaign for African-American voter registration centered on Selma, Ala. A nonviolent march from Selma to Montgomery was attacked by police who beat and teargassed the protestors, but it ultimately succeeded on the third try when the National Guard and federal troops were mobilized. The events in Selma provoked national outrage, and months later aroused public opinion did much to precipitate passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

King's leadership in the civil-rights movement was challenged in the mid-1960s as others grew more militant. His interests, however, widened from civil rights to include criticism of the Vietnam War and a deeper concern over poverty. His plans for a Poor People's March to Washington were interrupted (1968) for a trip to Memphis, Tenn., in support of striking sanitation workers. On Apr. 4, 1968, he was shot and killed as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel (since 1991 a civil-rights museum).

James Earl Ray, a career criminal, pleaded guilty to the murder and was convicted, but he soon recanted, claiming he was duped into his plea. Ray's conviction was subsequently upheld, but he eventually received support from members of King's family, who believed King to have been the victim of a conspiracy. Ray died in prison in 1998. In a jury trial in Memphis in 1999 the King family won a wrongful-death judgment against Loyd Jowers, who claimed (1993) that he had arranged the killing for a Mafia figure. Many experts, however, were unconvinced by the verdict, and in 2000, after an 18-month investigation, the Justice Dept. discredited Jowers and concluded that there was no evidence of an assassination plot.

King wrote Stride toward Freedom (1958), Why We Can't Wait (1964), and Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? (1967). His birthday is a national holiday, celebrated on the third Monday in January. King's wife, Coretta Scott King, carried on various aspects of his work until her death in 2006. She also wrote My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr. (1969, rev. ed. 1993).

See biographies by K. L. Smith and I. G. Zepp, Jr. (1974), S. Oates (1982), and M. Frady (2001); D. J. Garrow, Bearing the Cross (1986); M. E. Dyson, I May Not Get There with You (2000); S. Burns, To the Mountaintop (2004); F. Sunnemark, Ring Out Freedom! (2004); T. Branch, America in the King Years (3 vol., 1988-2006).

King, Rufus, 1755-1827, American political leader, b. Scarboro, Maine (then a district of Massachusetts). He served briefly in the American Revolution and practiced law in Massachusetts before serving (1783-85) as a member of the Massachusetts General Court. He was (1784-87) a delegate to the Continental Congress, where he helped draft the Ordinance of 1787 and was chiefly responsible for the exclusion of slavery from the Northwest Territory. At the Federal Constitutional Convention (1787), he was an effective supporter of a strong central government and helped to secure Massachusetts's ratification of the Constitution. Moving to New York City, King was elected to the state assembly and was chosen (1789) as one of New York's first two U.S. Senators. He strongly supported Alexander Hamilton's financial measures and later defended Jay's Treaty. As minister to Great Britain (1796-1803) he reconciled many differences between the two countries and proved himself an able diplomat. He was the unsuccessful Federalist party candidate for Vice President in 1804 and 1808 and for President in 1816. From 1813 to 1825 he again served as U.S. Senator. Although at first an opponent of the War of 1812, he later came to support the administration's war measures. King opposed the Missouri Compromise and advocated solving the slavery problem by emancipating and colonizing blacks outside the country on the proceeds of the sale of public lands. In 1824 he declined reelection but was again minister to Great Britain (1825-26). Charles King (1789-1867) was his son.

See C. King, ed., The Life and Correspondence of Rufus King (6 vol., 1894-1900, repr. 1971); biography by E. H. Brush (1926); study by R. Ernst (1968).

King, Stephen, 1947-, American writer, b. Portland, Maine. A hugely prolific author, he writes horror stories influenced by the 19th-century Gothic tradition, especially that of Edgar Allan Poe. His novels, short stories, screenplays, and essays have made him one of the best-selling authors in the world. King takes everyday situations and experiences and reveals their macabre and horrific potential. Noted for their cinematic style, many of his novels and stories have been turned into successful motion pictures, some with screenplays by King, e.g., Pet Sematary (1989, film 1992), Carrie (1974, film 1976), The Shining (1977, film 1980), Misery (1987, film 1990), Needful Things (1991, film 1993), Dolores Claiborne (1992, film 1995), and Dreamcatcher (2001, film 2003). His other novels include Rose Madder (1995), Bag of Bones (1998), a seven-volume fantasy series entitled The Dark Tower (1982-2004), Cell (2006), Lisey's Story (2006), Duma Key (2008), and Under the Dome (2009). His novella Riding the Bullet (2000, film 2004) was released as an electronic entity, to be read on an e-book reader, personal digital assistant, or computer, and a subsequent novel, The Plant, was electronically self-published and released in installments on the Internet beginning in 2000. In his On Writing (2000), King describes his life, his craft, and a near-fatal accident.
King, William, 1650-1729, Irish clergyman and author. He was made archbishop of Dublin in 1702. An ardent believer in the rights of the Church of Ireland, he published in 1691 his State of the Protestants in Ireland under the late King James's Government. His chief work is De origine mali (1702, tr. 1730).
King, William, 1663-1712, English poet. He supported the Tory and High Church party. He is noted for his humorous and satirical writings, which include Dialogues of the Dead (attacks against Richard Bentley, pub. 1699) and Miscellanies in Prose and Verse (1709).
King, William Lyon Mackenzie, 1874-1950, Canadian political leader, b. Kitchener, Ont.; grandson of William Lyon Mackenzie. An expert on labor questions, he served in Wilfrid Laurier's Liberal administration as deputy minister of labor (1900-1908) and minister of labor (1909-11) and was editor (1900-1908) of the Labour Gazette. He first served in the House of Commons from 1909 to 1911, and during World War I he was engaged (1914-17) in investigating industrial relations in the United States. Chosen in 1919 to succeed Laurier as leader of the Liberal party, Mackenzie King led the opposition in Parliament until 1921, when he became prime minister, a post he filled, except for a brief interval in 1926, until 1930. Leader of the opposition during Richard Bedford Bennett's government (1930-35), he afterward again served (1935-48) as prime minister. Called upon to guide Canadian affairs during World War II, King enunciated his position in Canada at Britain's Side (1941) and Canada and the Fight for Freedom (1944). In 1940 he concluded with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt the Ogdensburg Agreement and in 1941, the Hyde Park Declaration; by these Canada and the United States agreed to create a permanent joint board of defense and to cooperate in the production of defense materials. King served as chairman of the Canadian delegation at the conference (1945) in San Francisco to draft the Charter of the United Nations and at the Paris Conference of 1946. With President Harry Truman and Prime Minister Clement Attlee of Great Britain, he signed in 1945 the Washington declaration on atomic energy.

See biography by R. M. Dawson (Vol. I, 1958) and H. B. Neatby (Vol. II, 1963); J. W. Pickersgill and D. F. Forster, The Mackenzie King Record (4 vol., 1960-70); J. E. Esberey, Knight of the Holy Spirit: A Study of William Lyon Mackenzie King (1980).

King, William Rufus Devane, 1786-1853, U.S. Senator from Alabama (1819-44, 1848-52), b. Sampson co., N.C. A Democratic Congressman from North Carolina (1811-16), he settled (1818) in Alabama and became one of its first Senators. King resigned in 1844 to become minister to France; he successfully urged France to refrain from joining England in a protest against U.S. annexation of Texas. Later he again entered (1848) the Senate. Elected (1852) Vice President under Franklin Pierce, he died in Alabama soon after taking the oath of office.
The King's Royal Rifle Corps was a British Army formation, originally raised in colonial America as the Royal Americans, and recruited from American colonists.


The King's Royal Rifle Corps was raised in the American colonies in 1756 as the 62nd (Royal American) Regiment to defend the thirteen colonies against infiltration by the French and their native American allies. After Braddock's defeat in 1755, in March 1756 a special Act of Parliament created 4 battalions of 1,000 men to include foreigners for service in the Americas. Swiss and German forest fighting experts, American colonists and British volunteers from other British regiments were recruited. The battalions were raised on Governors Island, New York. The regiment was renumbered the 60th (Royal American) Regiment in 1757 when the 50th (Shirley's) and 51st (Pepperrell's) foot regiments were removed from the British Army roll after their surrender at Fort Oswego.

Among the distinguished foreign officers given commissions in the 60th (Royal Americans) was Henri Bouquet, a Swiss citizen, whose ideas on tactics, training and man-management (including the unofficial introduction of the rifle and 'battle-dress`) were only to become universal in the British Army after another 150 years. With his counterparts, Bouquet, the commanding officer of the 1st battalion, set about creating a unit that was uniquely suited to warfare in the forests and lakes that were the North American theatre of battle between Great Britain and France. The Royal Americans represent a deliberate attempt to produce a different and more able soldier who was encouraged to use his initiative, whilst retaining the discipline that was noticeably lacking in the irregular units of colonial Rangers that were being raised at the same time.

The new regiment fought at Louisbourg in 1758 and Quebec in 1759 in the campaign which finally wrested Canada from France; at Quebec it won from General James Wolfe the motto `Celer et Audax` (Swift and Bold). These were conventional battles on the European model, but the challenge of Pontiac's Rebellion in 1763 was of a very different character and threatened the British control of North America. The new regiment at first lost several outlying garrisons but finally proved its mastery of forest warfare under Bouquet's leadership at the decisive victory of Bushy Run.

They were uniformed and equipped in a similar manner to other British regiments with red coats and Grenadier hats , but on campaign swords were replaced with hatchets, and coats and hats would be cut down for ease of movement on the North American frontier.

Napoleonic Wars

During the Napoleonic Wars the unit played a part in the Peninsular War. The first four regular battalions had been raised as regular line battalions, but a 5th battalion was raised and equipped entirely with the Baker rifles, and wore green jackets with red facings. The mixing of rifle troops and muskets proved popular enough that eventually the line battalion's light companies, were replaced with rifle companies. The line battalions found themselves in different theatres, including the West Indies. The rifle battalion was soon supplemented with a second, and found themselves in the Peninsula with Wellington's army, serving along with the 95th Rifles, and the King's German Legion rifle units. A 7th battalion was eventually raised as a rifle battalion specifically for service in the American War of 1812.

The unit's name was not changed until after the Napoleonic Wars; first to The Duke of York's Own Rifle Corps and then in 1830 to the King's Royal Rifle Corps. In 1858 the Rifle Depot at Winchester was made their headquarters. During the rest of the 1800s the unit was active in China, Canada (Wolseley Expedition), Afghanistan, India, Burma and South Africa.

World War I

In World War I the unit was expanded to twenty-two battalions and saw much action on the Western Front. Over 12,000 soldiers of the regiment were killed while eight members won the Victoria Cross and over 2,000 further decorations were awarded. After 1918 the unit returned to garrison duties in India, Palestine and Ireland. In 1926 the regiment was reorganized as one of the first mechanized infantry regiments.

World War II

In World War II after initial deployment to France as part of the BEF, the regiment lost two battalions at the Defence of Calais (2nd Bn KRRC and 1st Bn the Queen Victoria's Rifles(TA)) where a Green Jacket Brigade held up the German advance to enable the evacuation of the allied armies at Dunkirk. Redeployed to northern Africa the unit began to see success, continuing with actions in Italy, Austria, Germany and in the Battle of Greece and Crete (where its 9th Battalion, The Rangers (TA), served with 1st Armoured Brigade Group). Post war the unit was deployed in Germany.

Royal Green Jackets

On 7 November 1958 the Regiment was re-titled as the 2nd Green Jackets, The King's Royal Rifle Corps, and the two other regiments of the Green Jackets Brigade - which had existed since 1948 - also had their titles changed. In 1966 the three regiments of the brigade were amalgamated to form the three battalion Royal Green Jackets Regiment. This regiment was again amalgamated in 2007 to form the five regular and two territorial battalion regiment The Rifles.

Territorial Battalions

In WW2 these territorial battalions were made formally part of the KRRC as follows:

  • 1st Btn Queen Victoria's Rifles - 7th Btn KRRC
  • 2nd Btn Queen Victoria's Rifles - 8th Btn KRRC
  • 1st Btn The Rangers - 9th Btn KRRC
  • 2nd Btn The Rangers - 10th Btn KRRC
  • 1st Btn The Queen's Westminsters - 11th Btn KRRC
  • 2nd Btn The Queen's Westminsters - 12th Btn KRRC


See also

  • Rifle Brigade - sister regiment sharing much common history and traditions


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