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Ernest J. King
FADM Ernest J. King.jpg
Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King, USN
Nickname(s) "Ernie"
"Rey"
Born (1878-11-23)23 November 1878
Lorain, Ohio
Died 25 June 1956(1956-06-25) (aged 77)
Kittery, Maine
Buried
United States Naval Academy Cemetery
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch United States Department of the Navy Seal.svg United States Navy
Years of service 1901–1956
Rank US-O11 insignia.svg Fleet Admiral
Commands held Chief of Naval Operations
United States Fleet
United States Atlantic Fleet
USS Lexington
Naval Station Norfolk
USS Wright
USS Bridge
Naval Postgraduate School
USS Terry
Battles/wars Spanish–American War
Mexican Revolution
  • Battle of Veracruz

World War I

World War II
Awards Navy Cross
Navy Distinguished Service Medal (3)
Other work President, Naval Historical Foundation

Ernest Joseph King (23 November 1878 – 25 June 1956) was Commander in Chief, United States Fleet (COMINCH) and Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) during World War II. As COMINCH-CNO, he directed the United States Navy's operations, planning, and administration and was a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was the United States Navy's second most senior officer in World War II after Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, who served as Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief.

Born in Lorain, Ohio, King served in the Spanish–American War while still attending the United States Naval Academy. He received his first command in 1914, leading the destroyer USS Terry in the occupation of Veracruz. During World War I, he served on the staff of Vice Admiral Henry T. Mayo, the commander of the United States Atlantic Fleet. After the war, King served as head of the Naval Postgraduate School, commanded a submarine squadron, and served as Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics. After a period on the Navy's General Board, King became commander of the Atlantic Fleet in February 1941.

Shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, King was appointed as Commander in Chief of the United States Fleet. In March 1942, King succeeded Harold Stark as Chief of Naval Operations. In December 1944, King became the second admiral to be promoted to fleet admiral. King left active duty in December 1945 and died in 1956.

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