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Governor John P. de Jongh Jr. has proclaimed April 7 as “Cyril Emmanuel King Day” in the Virgin Islands to recognize the outstanding public service of this notable Virgin Islander.
Cyril King was born on St. Croix on April 7, 1921. He received his early education at St. Ann’s Catholic School at Barren Spot before graduating from St. Mary’s Catholic School in Christiansted.
King served with the United States Army Pacific Theater troops in Hawaii and attained the rank of sergeant. After discharge from the military, King enrolled at American University, where he obtained his Bachelor of Science degree.
After college, King worked as an aide to Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota—the first black man to serve on the staff of a United States Senator. He worked with Humphrey for twelve years and attained the position of senior staff member. King was then appointed by President John F. Kennedy to serve as government secretary of the Virgin Islands Government in 1961.
In 1969, Cyril King was appointed as acting governor of the Virgin Islands, and in 1972, he was elected senator from the St. Thomas-St. John District. In 1974, he became the second elected governor of the Virgin Islands.
King has received numerous awards throughout his life for his outstanding community service, including Commander First Class of the Order of the Danneborg and the Silver Bronze Cross by H.M. Queen Margrethe II of Denmark; an honorary Doctor of Law Degree from Roger Williams College in Bristol, Rhode Island; and the first Hilbert College, Buffalo, New York award for his outstanding humanitarian efforts. On St. Thomas, he was honored by having the territory’s largest airport named in his honor.
The dedicated efforts of Governor Cyril E. King contributed to great social, political, and economic progress in the territory.
On this designated day, Governor de Jongh calls on all Virgin Islanders to join him in recognizing the outstanding public service of the territory’s second elected governor.