Charles King

Portrait of Charles King

Charles King, 1789-1867
Term of Office: 1849-1864

A politician and newspaper publisher, Charles King was elected president of Columbia College at age 60.  Although King was in no way an educator, his administration was marked by significant progress and expansion.

Under his leadership, the removal of the College to a new site was proposed and adopted, and the property between Madison and Fourth (now Park) Avenues and 49th and 50th Streets was acquired. In May 1857, Columbia College relocated its campus "uptown" to its second, larger home at the former site of the New York Deaf and Dumb Asylum. In addition to the change in location, King was also responsible for expanding the scope of learning at Columbia. Among the more notable academic additions were the establishment of a School of Law in 1858 and the affiliation of the College of Physicians and Surgeons with Columbia in 1860.