King, Ernest J.

King, Ernest J. (Joseph)

(1878–1956) naval officer; born in Lorain, Ohio. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1901 and took part in the occupation of Veracruz, Mexico (1914). He was on the staff of the Atlantic Fleet during World War I and undertook aviation training in 1928. He was chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics (1933–38) and served on the General Board (1939–40). In 1941 he became commander-in-chief of the U.S. Fleet; he also became the chief of naval operations in 1942. He commanded the U.S. Navy throughout World War II and served as President Roosevelt's chief naval adviser. He became a five-star admiral (1944, confirmed in 1946) and went on inactive status in 1945. He returned to limited duty in 1950 as an adviser to the president, the secretary of the navy, and the Department of Defense.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.