In July 1983, at the age of 70, Professor James Ferguson King quietly departed this life. His passing causes those of us of similar years to reflect on our own condition as we regret the loss of a companion and mentor.
Professor King was an accomplished, talented man, without ostentation, equitable, courteous, principled in his dealings with others. His effective services as historian, instructor, adviser, and administrator were a significant contribution to that sector of society identified as the university and from 1944 were rendered at the University of California, Berkeley. He was one of a very small number of scholars in the United States and Latin America in the 1930s and 1940s who initiated the more recent era of research and publication on the role of the Black in Spanish America, an important segment of historical publication that continues to develop. His talent and character made him a resource to be levied on for a succession of demanding administrative posts: a development which necessarily forced an end to publication as he continued in teaching and administration while also fulfilling his obligations as padre de familia.