Don King was born on June 14, 1926 in Worcester, MA.
Throughout his life, Don was always a sports enthusiast and a fan of all sports. He played basketball at Hillhouse. When his family moved to New Jersey, Don excelled at football for Trenton High School and later at Pennington Preparatory School. Don was accepted to the New York Military Academy and was soon recognized as an outstanding athlete at the school, excelling in football, baseball, basketball and boxing. His favorite sport was football and on campus he was widely recognized for his outstanding play. Don earned the nickname “Eel Hips” for his ability to snake his way to the goal line. His classroom work was just as impressive and he graduated with honors.
Don enlisted into the U.S. Air Force in 1945 and saw action as a gunner on a B-29. On a mission, his plane took heavy fire but managed to land safely in Allied territory. There the plane’s crew was assigned to deliver goods in a military truck to various outposts. They had an accident during a turbulent storm and Don suffered a severe back injury. He returned to the States in a full body cast. True to his love of sports, even when he was being cared for at Walter Reed Hospital, Don maintained his active, athletic nature by throwing a baseball.
After recovering from his injuries in the war, Don, his wife Peggy and friends built a miniature golf course in Branford. It was a success but they thought a hot dog stand would be more profitable. Many will remember “Kings Famous Hot Dogs” on Route 1
In 1964, Don went on to build the D.J. King Trucking Company and developed a financially stable business. He drove his own truck “The Black Mariah”. The King Family spent many hours on the road trucking
Don played Semi-Pro football for the Annex Young Men’s Association and received the New Haven East Shore Golden Football Award in 1984 in recognition for his high ideas and contributions to the game of football.
He was a member of the New Haven Country Club for many years and was an outstanding golfer. He had three holes in one there and another at River Ranch, Florida.
Don organized the Branford Bluefish Club, a scuba diving group involved in search and rescue operations in Long Island Sound.
Don was a member of the Branford Lions Club. He was an avid fan of many teams and attended the games of his sons, daughters, and grandchildren wherever they competed in sports.
The Kings raised four children: Patty King Fairty, Dr. Valerie A King, D.J. King and Kyle J. King and had great joy with their ten granddaughters and three grandsons.