May 23, 2002
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Theodore King, Former Hopkins Hospital V.P., Dies

Theodore M. King, M.D., Ph.D., former vice president for medical affairs at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and a former chairman of the Johns Hopkins Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, died on Wednesday, May 22. He was 71.

King, who lived in Ruxton, Md., also had served as president of both Wyman Park Medical Center and North Charles Hospital, when they were acquired by The Johns Hopkins Health System. Most recently, he was chair of the Board of Directors of Family Health International, a North Carolina-based organization that works to improve reproductive and family health around the world in partnership with universities, ministries of health and non-governmental organizations. He previously had served as their president and chief operating officer.

"Ted King devoted much of his professional career to Johns Hopkins, taking on one difficult assignment after another in the ‘70s and ‘80s," said Ronald R. Peterson, current president of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System. "He left here only to pursue his other keen interest: improved maternal health worldwide."

While at Hopkins, King was the moving force behind the conception, establishment and funding of the Johns Hopkins Program for International Education in Gynecology and Obstetrics (JHPIEGO), which led collaborating institutions in the United States and developing countries in the advancement of reproductive health, serving as both a trustee and president. In a 1991 tribute to King, former JHPIEGO director Dr. Ronald T. Burkman, said, "Throughout his career, Dr. King made the care of the disadvantaged, whether it be a pregnant adolescent in Baltimore or a Turkish mother of five...a priority...He often commented that one of the rules of educational institutions was to shorten the time span between discovery of a useful medical advance and its introduction in the field, particularly at a grassroots level."

King was born Feb. 13, 1931, in Quincy, Ill. He received his bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry from Quincy College in 1950; a masters degree in zoology from the University of Illinois at Urbana in 1953; a doctorate in physiology from Michigan State University, Lansing, in 1959; and a medical degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1959. Following medical school graduation, King completed a one-year surgical internship in New York at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, then stayed at Columbia at the medical center's Sloane Hospital for Women for a residency in obstetrics and gynecology. He became chief resident in 1964.

King joined the faculty of the University of Missouri School of Medicine in 1965 as assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, and of physiology, and served on that faculty for three years. He then moved to Albany Medical College in New York, where he served as professor and chairman of obstetrics and gynecology from 1968 to 1971.

King came to Hopkins in November 1971 as professor and director of gynecology and obstetrics, a position he held until April 1983. In May 1983, he became the Hospital's vice president for medical affairs, a position he held until 1991. In this role, King vigorously promoted regulatory compliance, according to Senior Vice President Emeritus Edward A. Halle, with whom he worked.

King was the author of more than 150 publications on topics such as heart disease and pregnancy, abortions and female sterilization. He served as consultant to many worldwide organizations, including the Ford Foundation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, the University of Nairobi and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. He was a member of numerous professional societies and organizations, and was president of the American Association of Planned Parenthood Physicians from 1978 to 1979.

In his spare time, he enjoyed European history, gourmet cooking and spending time with his grandchildren and his poodles, Bridgette and Boris.

King is survived by his wife, Lilly; a daughter, Dr. Karen E. King, and a son, Dr. Theodore M. King Jr., both of Baltimore; a sister, Bonnie Gibbs, of Quincy, Ill.; and four grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m., Sunday, May 26, at the Ruck Funeral Home, York Road and the Beltway in Towson, Md. A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday, June 12, in Hurd Hall of The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be sent to The Fund for Johns Hopkins Medicine, One Charles Center, 100 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21201 Attention: Patty Hill-Callahan. Checks should be made payable to the Fund for Johns Hopkins Medicine.


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