Former UW-Madison Chemistry Professor Edward King Dies

Edward L. King, a former UW-Madison chemistry professor, died Aug. 17 in Boulder, Colo. at age 95.

Born in 1920 in Grand Forks, N.D., King grew up in North Dakota, Minnesota, and other Midwestern cities before moving to California. He earned a bachelor’s from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1942 and a doctorate in chemistry in 1945. From 1945-46, he worked as a research associate on the Manhattan Project. From 1946-48, he served as a chemistry instructor and postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard University.

King came to the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1948 as an assistant professor and began working to establish a research program dealing with complex ion equilibria, as well as reaction rates and mechanisms in solutions. He was named a Guggenheim Fellow in 1957. In 1963, he left Madison to take a position at the University of Colorado Boulder. He spent the remainder of his professional career there.

The King group continued to conduct research in the field of solution chemistry of inorganic substances, resulting in more than 65 scientific publications. King also authored two books, “How Chemical Reactions Occur” (1964) and “Chemistry” (1979), a college-level introduction to the field. In 1964, he became editor of Inorganic Chemistry, an American Chemical Society (ACS) publication. He served as chair of the University of Colorado Boulder Chemistry Department from 1970-72.

King was a member of numerous chemistry-related organizations and societies, including ACS and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and he received a number of professional awards.

In 1952, King married Joy Kerler. He is survived by his wife, Joy; his son Paul, daughter-in-law Nancy, and step-grandson Brandon. His daughter Marcia died before him. He was an avid outdoorsman and orchestral enthusiast.