John Q. T. King

Dates Alive: 1921-2011

Family: Woodson

Location (at interview): Austin, TX

John Quill Taylor King was born in Memphis, Tennessee, the son of Alice Woodson, a teacher, and John Quill Taylor, a doctor.  When his mother remarried after his father’s death, he took the surname of his stepfather, Charles King, a funeral director.  King graduated from Fisk University in 1941 and then entered the  U.S. Army.  He retired from the Army Reserves as a Major General. 

General King, who had numerous degrees, taught mathematics at Huston-Tillotson College in Austin, Texas, and served as its longest-standing president from 1965 to 1988.   In retirement he ran the family mortuary.  He and his wife, Marcet Alice Hines, also a college teacher, had three children, two of whom became physicians.  General King admired his great-aunt, Minerva Jane Woodson, a teacher who was his main source for much of the Woodson family history.  As he said, when explaining the Woodson urge to excel, “Failure was not a word in our family.”