Richard King did not simply join a local chapter of DeMolay when he was initiated in 1955. He became the Charter Master Councilor of the new San Lorenzo Chapter in California. He was to enter the University of California at Berkeley that fall at the age of 16. King received the Chevalier and Legion of Honor while still in University. King was well-known in DeMolay chapters throughout California for his stirring rendition of the DeMolay Flower Talk. He often served as the Installing Officer for Chapter Installations.
King graduated from U.C. Berkeley in 1959 (where he served as the first vice-president of the student body) and went on to law school. After graduating from Boalt Hall Law School in 1962, Richard King taught both English and Business Law at Brigham Young University. In 1963, King served for two years on active duty with the U.S. Army in Military Intelligence, attaining the rank of Captain. He was admitted to practice law in both California and Utah in 1963. A top-rated lawyer, Richard King founded a law firm. His two brothers joined him in the practice of King, King, & King in 1967.
King has long been involved in public service and charitable organizations, and was recognized in 1980 by 50 different organizations for his contributions, as well as the President of the United States.
He has served in leadership roles in the Rotary Club for 35 years, as a Club President, District Governor, Trustee of the Rotary Foundation, International Director, Chairman of the Executive Committee, and last year as the world President of Rotary International. King's term produced the single largest growth year in Rotary's 98-year history. From July 1, 2001 to June 30, 2002 some 75,000 new members joined Rotary; 1,158 new Rotary Clubs were chartered (more than one every 8 hours); 795 new Interact Clubs (high school Rotary clubs) were chartered; and $67 million (the largest sum ever raised in one year) was contributed to the annual fund of the Rotary Foundation. At the end of his 2001-2002 term, Rotary membership stood at an all-time record of 1,243,431 community leaders in 204 countries and geographical regions.
Richard performed professionally as a singer and actor in his own shows in Las Vegas and in leading roles of West Coast productions of Broadway musicals. All his adult life, King has been an acclaimed motivational speaker, and has addressed audiences in every state and in over 100 countries.
Richard currently is serving as the Executive Director of the Wheelchair Foundation. This organization provides wheelchairs free of charge to handicapped persons who cannot afford one, giving them freedom and mobility. The Wheelchair Foundation has distributed some 112,000 wheelchairs in 90 countries over the past two years.
King became the charter Master Councilor of San Lorenzo Chapter San Lorenzo, California, in 1955. He is a Legion of Honor recipient and a Chevalier. King was inducted into the DeMolay Hall of Fame on June 21, 2003.