KING--Dr. Thomas K.C. Professor Emeritus of Clinical Medicine, who served on the clinical faculty in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine for 47 years, died on Saturday at his home in Manhattan. He was 84. Dr. King was beloved by patients, colleagues, and trainees alike, both as a premier physician and a wonderful mentor. Serving as a Professor of Clinical Medicine, Dr. King trained hundreds of residents and fellows in the Medical Intensive Care Unit, and in outpatient practices, including the Pulmonary Consultation Service and Pulmonary Associates. He taught the pulmonary physiology course in the Pulmonary Fellowship Program for many years and instructed medical students during all four years of their training. He was honored with the Elliot Hochstein Award for Teaching for his outstanding dedication to educating medical students. Dr. King also served as Interim Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine twice (1982 - 1985 and 1991 - 1993). Dr. King made significant contributions to pulmonary research, with studies providing insight on the basic principles of respiratory physiology and pathophysiology. Dr. King and Dr. William Briscoe's collaboration in research quantitated the degree of abnormality in the distribution of ventilation, perfusion and diffusing capacity in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other lung diseases. Dr. King served on the Weill Cornell Medicine's Scientific Advisory Committee and on New York-Presbyterian's Respiratory Care Committee. He also served as President of the New York Trudeau Society, now known as the New York State Thoracic Society and the American Chinese Medical Society. He formed the highly respected Briscoe Lung Club (New York), which was renamed the Briscoe- King Lung Club in 2017, in his honor. Dr. King obtained his MD with Commendation from the University of Edinburgh. His initial training was at Queen's University and Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, UK. In 1965, he came to the United States as an Eli Lilly International Fellow in the cardio-pulmonary laboratory of the Columbia University Division of Bellevue Hospital and stayed on as a Fellow of the Polachek Foundation in the same laboratory. Dr. King was also a Nuffield Foundation Research Fellow in the Department of Social and Occupational Medicine at the Welsh National School of Medicine in Cardiff, UK. He has returned to Edinburgh several times since his student days - his most recent visit was the 50th reunion of the class of 1959 in 2009. His advice to current students: "You don't know where you are unless you know where you have been." In the Silver Jubilee Commemorative book of the Hong Kong College of Physicians, Dr. King was recognized for his appointment to the respiratory medicine unit in the University of Hong Kong Department of Medicine at the Queen Mary Hospital. He was the second physician in the unit, formed in 1966, joining the founding team of one physician, one laboratory assistant, and one rotating trainee. Dr. King was born on June 1, 1934, in Shanghai, China to Tung Ming King and Yen Vee Sung. He attended Diocesan Boys' School, a boarding school in Hong Kong. In 1959, he married Amy, daughter of Hu Die, also known by her English name, Butterfly Wu, one of the most popular Chinese actresses during the 1920s and 1930s. Dr. King is survived by his wife Amy; his two daughters, Susan and Caroline; their spouses Jim and Jim; his grandchildren Thomas, Christopher, Kristin, Eric, Kathryn, Megan, Rachel, and Zachary; his great- granddaughters Shaye and Matilda; and his siblings Willis, Vivian and Sophie. Calling hours will be held on Tuesday, June 4, 2019, from 3pm- 8pm at John Krtil Funeral Home, 1297 1st Avenue, (at 70th Street) New York City. A service in memory of Dr. King will be held at 10am on Wednesday, June 5th at Church of the Epiphany, 1393 York Avenue, (at 74th Street). In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Weill Cornell Medicine, Thomas K. C. King, M.D. Pulmonary Fellow Research Fund, 1300 York Avenue, Box 314, New York, NY 10065, or online at

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Published in The New York Times on June 2, 2019