Tech Legend Kim King Dies
Icon of Georgia Tech Athletics for 40 Years
Kim King, a legendary figure in Georgia Tech athletics, first as a player and then as the Yellow Jackets' long-time radio announcer, died Tuesday morning after a battle with leukemia. He was 59.
A public memorial service is scheduled for next Monday, Oct. 18 at 10 a.m. at Alexander Memorial Coliseum on the Tech campus.
King was an icon of Georgia Tech Football for more than 40 years, beginning with a standout playing career for legendary head coach Bobby Dodd and continuing through 30 years of service to the Institute as a supporter and benefactor of athletics and as a beloved radio color analyst. Most recently, he was an inspiration both within and outside the Georgia Tech community for his courageous battle with cancer.
"It has been my pleasure to know Kim King since he served on the search committee that ultimately selected me to be Georgia Tech's president," said G. Wayne Clough, president of the Georgia Institute of Technology. "Over the years, we've worked closely on the Georgia Tech Foundation, the Georgia Tech Athletic Board, and through the development of the Centergy complex and Technology Square. Further, as a star player and the color commentator for Tech football games, Kim has distinguished himself as someone with a real affinity for the Institute. I know that I join the entire Georgia Tech community in relaying to Kim's family our sincere sorrow in his passing and that our thoughts and prayers are with them at their time of loss."
At the Yellow Jackets' most recent home football game against Miami on Oct. 2, Georgia Tech honored King by officially dedicating the Kim King Football Locker Room at Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field.
"Kim truly loved Georgia Tech, and especially Tech football," said Tech Director of Athletics Dave Braine. "He was a tremendous ambassador for the program, and he was loved by so many people. To say that he will be missed is an understatement."
King was originally diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of cancer, in 1999. Last May, he was diagnosed with secondary acute myelogenous leukemia.
King began his long association with Georgia Tech when he enrolled at the Institute in the fall of 1963. "The Young Lefthander" was a three-year starter at quarterback from 1965-67, leading the Jackets to berths in the Gator and Orange Bowls. One of the highlights of his career came when he helped the Jackets to a victory over eighth-ranked Tennessee in 1966 and was named National Back of the Week by Sports Illustrated magazine. He finished his career as Tech's all-time leading passer.
Also an outstanding student, King earned his bachelor's degree in Industrial Management from Georgia Tech in 1968, launching his highly successful business career. He founded Kim King Associates, Inc., one of Atlanta's foremost commercial real estate development firms, in 1972. His firm developed numerous properties all over Atlanta, including the Centergy complex adjacent to the Tech campus at Technology Square.
He was named Georgia's "Most Respected CEO" for 2004 by Georgia Trend magazine, which also tabbed him one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians in 2001.
King served as finance chairman for former Georgia Governor Roy E. Barnes and as Chairman of the Board of Georgia Public Broadcasting. He was active in fund-raising activities for cancer research as well as the Bobby Dodd Charities Foundation, Inc.
In addition to his business and civic accomplishments, King was an integral figure in Georgia Tech Athletics who was instrumental in the growth of the program. He chaired the initial feasibility study for what ultimately became the Arthur B. Edge Center, which houses Tech's athletics offices. At the time of its completion in 1982, the Edge Center was a significant move by the Institute toward a commitment to intercollegiate athletics. In 1988, he was a driving force behind the agreement between the State Board of Regents and the Grant family heirs to add the name of Bobby Dodd to Tech's home field.
King was admired by generations of Yellow Jacket fans for his role as the color analyst on Tech's radio broadcasts. He joined the radio broadcast team in 1974 as the partner of legendary play-by-play voice Al Ciraldo.
Wes Durham, Tech's current play-by-play voice, began working with King in 1995.
"This is such a tremendous loss for Georgia Tech and for me personally," said Durham. "Kim King is Georgia Tech, and I'm honored that I had the chance to know him and work with him for the last 10 years."
Head football coach Chan Gailey said, "Kim King is the true Tech Man, from the way he played on the football field to his successful business career, and most importantly, in the way he lived his life."
Born Oct. 6, 1945 in Atlanta, King was inducted into the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 1978 and the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1996, and in 1998 he was honored by the Athletic Association with the Total Person Alumnus Award. He was also named one of Georgia Tech's "50 Greatest Athletes of the 20th Century" in 2000.
King is survived by his wife, Gail, daughters Angela and Abby, son Beau, and two grandchildren.