John King is CNN’s chief national correspondent and the former anchor of John King, USA, a one-hour political program launched in March 2010. In this role, King aimed to connect what happens in Washington, DC, with the lives of Americans across the country. King anchored John King, USA from locations such as: the Gulf Coast during the oil spill crisis; Tucson, Arizona, after the shootings of US Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and other victims; and, from Tunica, Mississippi, during the recent historic flooding in the South.
King moderated the first CNN debate of the 2012 Republican presidential primary season, a program more than 3.2 million viewers tuned in to watch. During the 2010 election cycle, King moderated gubernatorial debates in Massachusetts and Florida.
King previously anchored State of the Union with John King, the network’s four-hour Sunday news program, during which he interviewed a wide range of newsmakers, including President Barack Obama and former Vice President Dick Cheney. While anchoring State of the Union, King visited all 50 states in the first year of the Obama presidency to gather the voices of everyday Americans.
King joined CNN in May 1997 and became chief national correspondent in April 2005. He served as CNN’s senior White House correspondent from 1999 to 2005.
As a member of the Peabody Award-winning “Best Political Team on Television,” King was a key part of the network’s innovative “America Votes 2008” coverage of the presidential campaign. This campaign marked the sixth presidential election that King has covered. He traveled the country and broke news about campaign developments, including that then-Senator Barack Obama had chosen Senator Joe Biden as his vice presidential running mate. He pioneered the use of the CNN “multi-touch” board, which allowed him to delve into election data and track delegates like never before for primary election nights. In advance of the Democratic and Republican national conventions, King reported and anchored a 90-minute documentary on Sen. John McCain as part of a series on the presidential candidates.
King also contributed to CNN’s Emmy-winning 2006 mid-term election coverage, as well as to coverage of the 2004 presidential race, the Iraq War, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the tax-cut debates of 2001 and 2003 and the war on terrorism. In 2006, he reported an hour-long special on executive authority, “Power Play.” He has conducted one-on-one interviews with an array of senior officials, including President Barack Obama, former President George W. Bush, former first lady Laura Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
King traveled with Vice President Cheney to the Middle East in March 2002 as the administration began to build support for confronting Saddam Hussein. In December 2004, King traveled with Powell to Indonesia, Thailand, and other South Asian countries, and then remained in the region to cover the disaster and aftermath of the tsunami that took more than 175,000 lives in the region. In 2005, King was among the CNN crew that covered the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita from the US Gulf Coast. In June 2006, he accompanied President Bush on a secret trip to Baghdad during which the president met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the new cabinet.
During the Clinton administration, King conducted an exclusive joint interview with President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Tony Blair in Birmingham, England, in May 1998, as well as the only one-on-one interview with the President during his historic trip to Vietnam in November 2000. King also was CNN’s lead reporter covering Vice President Al Gore in the closing weeks of the 2000 presidential campaign and during the post-election recount controversy, and he interviewed Gore on several occasions during the 2000 campaign cycle.
In addition to his domestic reporting, he has covered firsthand a number of major international events, including the first Persian Gulf War, the US military operation to restore the Aristide government to Haiti, and the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as president of South Africa. He was among the first correspondents to report in 1991 from a liberated Kuwait and received the top reporting prize for his coverage of the 1991 Gulf War from the Associated Press Managing Editors’ Association.
Before joining CNN, King wrote for the Associated Press, which he joined in 1985. In 1991 he was named chief political correspondent and headed the AP’s political coverage of the 1992 and 1996 presidential elections. During his tenure there, King broke several major political stories, including Michael Dukakis’ selection of Lloyd Bentsen as his running mate in 1988 and Clinton’s selection of Al Gore in 1992. He broke the news of General Colin Powell’s decision not to run for president and Senator Bob Dole’s efforts to obtain Ross Perot’s endorsement in 1996.
King is a native of Boston and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism, as well as an honorary doctorate from the University of Rhode Island.