Michael King’s profile picture

Michael King

Historian & Biographer
Michael King’s profile picture
Net worth 2018: $800,000
Industry: Writers
Residence: Wellington
Country: New Zealander
BirthDay: 15 December 1945
Sigh: Capricorn
Died On: March 30, 2004
Education: Sacred Heart College, St. Patrick's College, Silverstream, Victoria University of Wellington, University of Waikato

Michael King was bornon 15 December 1945 in Wellington, New Zealander, is Historian & Biographer. Michael King was a New Zealand biographer, author and historian and worked on exploring the Maori culture and history throughout his life. He wrote biographies on important Maori sources like Te Puea Herangi, Whina Cooper, Janet Frame, etc. With these important accounts of the Maori times, King was able to scratch the history of New Zealand and establish Maori’s relevance with it. He did not only study Maori culture but also did his research and writings on the Pakeha literature as he himself belonged to the Pakeha ethnicity. Through his books: ‘Being Pakeha’, biography on ‘Frank Sargeson’ and ‘Being Pakeha Now’, he established that Pakeha literature and culture has the same importance as Maori and both the cultures have the same spiritual significance. Through his various books and biographies, King has carved out the psyche of the New Zealanders and of the nation itself. He is the writer of books like: ‘Moko: Maori Tattooing in the 20th Century’, ‘Te Puea’, ‘Whina’, Moriori: A People Rediscovered’, ‘A Land Apart: The Chathan Islands of New Zealand’, ‘In Tread Softly: For You Tread On My Life’, ‘In At The Edge of Memory: A Family Story’, etc. His most famous book ‘The Penguin History of New Zealand’ fetched him the Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement in the category of nonfiction writing.


In 2008, Waikato University purchased King’s house in Opoutere when his children, Jonathan and Rachael decided to sell it


In 2004, King and his second wife Maria were killed in a car fire after their car crashed into a tree near Maramarua, on the State Highway 2, in the north of Waikato


He also suffered for throat cancer in 2003 and went through chemotherapy


In 2002, he wrote ‘In At The Edge of Memory: A Family Story’, in which he tries to examine a anonymity that engaged his family and extended family for over centuries; the fact that a man (one of their ancestors) turns up in New Zealand in 20th century and no one knows about his past or where he came from, for there are no documents


His book ‘In Tread Softly: For You Tread On My Life’ that came out in 2001, King exclusively discussed the matters of importance for biographers


He wrote other books like: a biography called ‘Janet Frame’ in 2000, ‘The Penguin History of New Zealand’ in 2004 and also contributed to ‘Dictionary of New Zealand Biography’ in which he especially wrote about the life of Tommy Solomon who is known to be the ‘Last of the Morioris’


In 1995, King did another biography called ‘Frank Sargeson’


Amongst other books were: ‘Moriori: A People Rediscovered’ in 1989 and ‘A Land Apart: The Chathan Islands of New Zealand’ in 1990, which was a photojournalist essay made in collaboration with the photographer Robin Morrison


In 1987, he got married for the second time to Maria Jungowska, an editor in a book publishing firm and in 1993 they both moved to Opoutere in the Coromandel, New Zealand


Another book ‘Maori: A Photographic and Social History’ was written by him 1983


D in 1978, he joined the staff of the Waikato Times, where he was allocated to cover the Maori issues


King’s most important work on Maori was also written during this period - ‘Te Puea’ in 1977 and ‘Whina’ in 1983


King’s expertise on Maori etiquettes and access to many Maori informants helped him immensely in his writing all through 1970s and 1980s


This interest in history and past led him to take up a bachelor’s course in history at the Victoria University in 1967 and masters in 1968 from the University of Waikato, where he did his Ph


Michael King was born on 15 December 1945 in Wellington, New Zealand, to Eleanor and Commander King Lewis


This was the time when he wrote many books on the tribe and their culture, like: ‘Moko: Maori Tattooing in the 20th Century’

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