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Dr. Delutha King

DeLutha Porter Harold King, Jr. was born January 17, 1924 in Weir City, Kansas. His father DeLutha King Sr., a graduate of Lincoln University and minister in the C.M.E. church and his mother, Julia Banks King, a restaurant owner, moved King and his sister, Veatrice, to Kansas City, Missouri where they grew up. King attended the University of Kansas until he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942. From 1943 to 1945, he served in Europe in the all Black 43rd Signal Battalion as the company’s German interpreter.

King obtained a B.S. degree in zoology and english and a teaching certificate from Case Western Reserve University in 1952 while he worked full time for the U. S. Postal service since he was unable to find employment in his field when he returned from the war. He completed his M.D. degree in 1956; his internship in 1957 and his residency in surgical urology in 1961 at the Howard University College of Medicine and Freedmen’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. In 1956, King established the Student American Medical Association (SAMA), a chapter of the national A.M.A. at Howard University College of Medicine. He was the first person of color to be elected to the national office of SAMA Councilors. King was also the second recipient of the Daniel Hale Williams Award from the Association of Former interns and residents of the Freedmen’s Hospital.

King began his medical career as one of two urologists and was the only urologist of color in the state of Alabama at the V.A. Hospital in Tuskegee. He was Chief of Urology Services at the Veteran’s Administration from 1961 to 1965 and a Urology Consultant at John A. Andrew V.A. Hospital from 1966 to 1972. King moved to Atlanta and opened a private urology practice from 1966 to 1970 at 985 Hunter Street. In 1968, he moved his offices to 2600 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, a multi-specialty building that he and eight other African American investors built. He operated his business out of 2600 Martin Luther King Drive, now a part of Grady Hospital Clinic, until 1999.

King’s career and accomplishments span over a forty-five year period. In 1971, he co-founded the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia, dedicated to the education, screening and counseling for Sickle Cell Anemia; the Atlanta Health Care Foundation in 1973; Metro Atlanta Health Plan Inc., the forerunner of the establishment of the Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) in 1980; Health First, the HMO in 1985 and the Health First Foundation which contributes grants to non-profit health-oriented organizations in Georgia in 1986. King has been certified and licensed to practice medicine and urology in the states of Alabama, California, Maryland and Georgia. He has been licensed since 1966 in Georgia. He is on the Board of Trustees and a member of the Medical Advisory Board at Morehouse School of Medicine where he held Faculty positions from 1980 to 1986.

His article, “Prostatic Calculi Associated with Priapism” is published in the Journal of the NMA (1952); “Parathyroidism and Calculi”, co-authored with Dr. Yancy is in the Journal of the SMA (1967) and editorial, “HMOs Come to Georgia—Responsible Cost Control Without Radical Change” in Urban Health (1979).

In 2001, King received the Honorary Doctor of Humanities Degree from Morehouse College. In 2006, he received an award for fifty years of practicing medicine. King is an active member of the American Urological Association, AMA, NMA, Georgia State Medical Association and Southwest Atlanta Urology Associates, Inc., an organization that he founded in 1970. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and the NAACP.

King resides in Atlanta with his wife, Lois Weaver King.

Accession Number

A2006.025

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/17/2006 |and| 2/21/2006 |and| 3/18/2006

Last Name

King

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Lincoln College Preparatory Academy

R. T. Coles Vocational/Junior High School

William W. Yates Elementary School

University of Kansas

Case Western Reserve University

Howard University College of Medicine

First Name

DeLutha

Birth City, State, Country

Weir City

HM ID

KIN10

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Kansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Barbados

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

1/17/1924

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chili

Short Description

Urologist Dr. Delutha King (1924 - ) was the first urologist of color in the state of Alabama at the V.A. Hospital in Tuskegee. King operated his own urology practice for many years.

Employment

Freedmen's Hospital

Tuskegee Veterans Administration Medical Center

Private Practice

Health First Foundation

North Central Georgia Health Systems Agency

Favorite Color

Earth Tones

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Delutha King's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Delutha King lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Delutha King describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Delutha King describes his father's career and personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Delutha King talks about his father's ministry and carwash business

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Delutha King describes his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Delutha King remembers his paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Delutha King describes his grandparents' farm

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Delutha King talks about the Ku Klux Klan activity in Weir, Kansas

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Delutha King describes his family's farm work

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dr. Delutha King describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Dr. Delutha King remembers celebrating Juneteenth in Weir, Kansas

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Dr. Delutha King describes his chores

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Dr. Delutha King recalls learning to swim

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Delutha King remembers his paternal great-grandfather

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Delutha King recalls moving to Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Delutha King describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Delutha King recalls working as an apprentice to his neighbor

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Delutha King remembers playing softball

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Delutha King describes W.W. Yates Elementary School in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Delutha King describes his neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Delutha King describes his upbringing in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. Delutha King describes his early pastimes

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dr. Delutha King remembers R.T. Coles Vocational and Junior High School in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Dr. Delutha King recalls Lincoln High School in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Delutha King recalls his early interest in reading

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Delutha King remembers selling the Kansas City Call newspaper

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Delutha King describes his relationship with his sister

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Delutha King remembers his mother's career advice

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Delutha King recalls arriving at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Delutha King talks about graduating early from high school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Delutha King describes the fraternal organizations at the University of Kansas

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Delutha King recalls being drafted into the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dr. Delutha King remembers reporting for U.S. military duty

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Dr. Delutha King recalls his assignments in the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Delutha King's interview, session 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Delutha King recalls reporting for basic training at Fort Clark, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Delutha King describes his basic training in the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Delutha King recalls his deployment to the European front of World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Delutha King remembers arriving in France during World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Delutha King describes his experiences in Germany during World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Delutha King recalls his living conditions while serving in the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Delutha King remembers the U.S. military's K-rations

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. Delutha King remembers his U.S. military awards

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dr. Delutha King talks about the 43rd Signal Heavy Construction Battalion

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Dr. Delutha King recalls the racial discrimination in the U.S. military

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. Delutha King remembers serving in Germany during World War II

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Delutha King recalls returning to the United States after World War II

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Delutha King describes his experiences of employment discrimination

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Delutha King remembers enrolling at Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Delutha King recalls working as a substitute teacher

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Delutha King describes his first year at the Howard University College of Medicine

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. Delutha King describes his medical coursework

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. Delutha King recalls selecting a medical internship

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dr. Delutha King recalls his admissions interview at the Howard University College of Medicine

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dr. Delutha King recalls graduating from the Howard University College of Medicine

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. Delutha King remembers his influential medical instructors

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. Delutha King describes the faculty of Freedman's Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. Delutha King talks about his medical internship

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. Delutha King describes his urological residency at Freedman's Hospital

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dr. Delutha King recalls transferring to the Tuskegee Veterans Administration Medical Center

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dr. Delutha King explains the duties of an urologist

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dr. Delutha King remembers the black community in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Dr. Delutha King recalls his experiences as an urologist in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Dr. Delutha King describes the John A. Andrew Memorial Hospital in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Dr. Delutha King remembers meeting his wife

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Dr. Delutha King describes the Student American Medical Association

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dr. Delutha King remembers his mentors at the Howard University College of Medicine

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dr. Delutha King remembers moving to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dr. Delutha King recalls practicing medicine under segregation

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dr. Delutha King describes his organizational involvement

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Dr. Delutha King talks about his medical licensure

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Dr. Delutha King describes his private medical practice

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Dr. Delutha King recalls cofounding a multi-specialty medical facility

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Dr. Delutha King talks about the emergence of health maintenance organizations

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Dr. Delutha King recalls establishing a health maintenance organization

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Dr. Delutha King recalls educating the community about health maintenance organizations

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Delutha King's interview, session 3

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Dr. Delutha King describes the process of creating a health maintenance organization

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Dr. Delutha King talks about the Health First Foundation

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Dr. Delutha King describes his membership in professional organizations

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Dr. Delutha King describes his medical facilities in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Dr. Delutha King talks about the desegregation of Atlanta's hospitals

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Dr. Delutha King describes his private medical offices

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Dr. Delutha King recalls cofounding the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia, Inc.

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Dr. Delutha King describes the services provided by the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia, Inc.

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Dr. Delutha King describes his retirement

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Dr. Delutha King describes the North Central Georgia Health Systems Agency

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Dr. Delutha King describes his reasons for sharing his story

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Dr. Delutha King reflects upon his life

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Dr. Delutha King describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Dr. Delutha King reflects upon his legacy and how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Dr. Delutha King narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Dr. Delutha King narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

2$3

DATape

5$8

DAStory

1$8

DATitle
Dr. Delutha King remembers serving in Germany during World War II
Dr. Delutha King recalls cofounding the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia, Inc.
Transcript
We were talking about your particular unit [43rd Signal Heavy Construction Battalion], and whether or not you all had, like, hand-to-hand combat like some of the others. Because you were sort of, not special, but you--communication was extremely important.$$Right.$$So, you had to be protected to keep the lines open for (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) We did, yeah.$$--communication.$$And we carried rifles and live ammunition, and we posted guards while we slept at night in the field. And on two occasions, we pulled up into a small German community, and nobody--we couldn't see a soul; nobody was on the street. And we went into a couple of the homes and the food was still on the table, and cups of coffee was still warm. These people had left in a hurry. And we learned that there was a plan to bomb that little town, and that's why these people had left, and we didn't know about it. But on the road, we saw all of the American servicemen going in the opposite direction, to us. And we wondered why everybody was such in a rush. Well, our officer had not gotten the communication that there was a problem in this town. And we didn't need to be there, so we had to turn around and hightail it out of there. And fortunately, we did that.$$You did get out in time?$$Yes we got out in time. But I thought we might have to do some hand-to-hand that day (laughter).$$Okay. So, is there anything that I might have missed that you can tell us about, you know, your experience?$$Oh, only that there was one incident that really stayed with me a long time. I was selected as sort of an interpreter for our company, and I would go with the liaison officer.$$And this is German? You were fluent in German?$$We were--well, I spoke German.$$Okay.$$I wasn't fluent, but I was, I could make them understand me and I could understand them.$$But you were the interpreter for (simultaneous)--?$$(Simultaneous) I was the interpreter, since I was the only one in this company who did. So, I was elected to go and make arrangements with the burgermeisters, the mayors of the villages, for our billets. I'd go ahead to the next twenty-five mile point, and we would make those kinds of arrangements. Well, we did this in France and--I'm sorry, we were in--this was in and around Bastogne [Belgium]. And we went up one day and ended up in this quaint beautiful village with boutiques all along the road; artwork, and just a lovely little village. I went back the next day, and all of this convoy is behind us. And we just drove and drove and drove. And we didn't see anything; didn't see anything like we had seen the day before. And the reason was it was all bombed out, it was totally destroyed. I could not believe the difference overnight. And that was something that really stayed with me a long time, partly because we had to turn all those people around and bring them back to that same location. And we finally, we had selected an old church that was empty. And the roof was gone, and most of the windows were out, but that's where we (laughter) had to stay. It was the only available place for a group that size.$Basically, what does your day consist of? I know that you, since you don't have--you closed the practice [Southwest Atlanta Urological Associates, Atlanta, Georgia]; you retired from the practice, and we know that you're with the, you know, the Health First Foundation [Atlanta, Georgia].$$Right.$$And with sickle cell. Do you still, are you active with sickle cell?$$Yes, I am.$$Okay. Tell us what--what we should ask you is how did the Sickle Cell Foundation [Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia]--you know, how did that come about?$$Well, Dr. Nelson McGhee [Nelson McGhee, Jr.], the late Dr. McGhee and I attended a meeting of the National Medical Association in 1971, I guess, in Philadelphia [Pennsylvania]. And there was a presentation made on sickle cell disease, and it was made by a layperson. And as we listened, we were a little nonplussed by the references that were made about the longevity of sickle cell patients generally, and the problems that they faced. And in one or two areas, we had some concerns with the veracity of statements made. So when we got back home, we looked around to see what was in existence at the time dealing with patients like that. And we went to the various agencies and learned that there were no agencies dealing with sickle cell disease. So, that really prompted the beginning of our organization, the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia. So, we set about establishing an office, and we found a very capable young woman who was the head teller at a bank which was located in our building at 2600 [2600 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive], Miss Jean Brannan [Delores Brannan]. And Dr. McGhee persuaded her to leave her job--and she was pregnant at that time with her first child I believe--and come to work with our foundation as a volunteer, which she did. And ultimately she became our executive director, and then president and COO.$$Okay.$$And she currently serves as that, in that same position today, all these years later. And we had a great deal of support from the community. Mrs. Clayton, whose name we mentioned earlier, [HistoryMaker] Xernona Clayton, organized a group of some twenty, twenty-five lovely ladies in the City of Atlanta [Georgia], and they were called the Souls for Sickle Cell [ph.]. And they put on a dinner for us in a large hotel in downtown Atlanta. They were worried about whether they could fill a dining room, and whether there'd be enough money coming. They wanted to raise ten thousand dollars for the foundation, and in those days that was a whole lot of money. And as things turned out, she was able to garner the presence of a number of stars, television personalities, movie stars, and--$$Name a few for us who did attend.$$The, the--Jackson, Reverend Jesse Jackson [HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson] was the featured speaker. And there was a television actress, Nicole [sic. HistoryMaker Denise Nicholas]--I can't call her last name at the moment. She was on '222' ['Room 222'], that was a popular television show at the time.$$Okay, '222.'$$And gee, I can't--$$I remember the show. Her name is escaping me, too. So, that's okay.$$Yeah, yeah, a very attractive lady. But the dinner was a major success. We had people--we had to put tables up almost out in the hallways in order to get them all in. And of course, they went beyond the goal of ten thousand dollars, and that was the very first funding that allowed the foundation to do some very important things like pay their rent and hire people and get things started. And we also had some additional funds that came from then Governor Jimmy Carter [James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr.] to help us on the way.