William King was a contemporary American sculptor born in Jacksonville, Florida. His work spanned countless media and usually revolved around the figurative portrayal of human figures. After attending the University of Florida, King moved to New York in 1945 and graduated from Cooper Union in 1948. He taught at the Brooklyn Museum Art School and the University of California at Berkeley, among other institutions. From 1994 to 1998, he served as the president of the National Academy of Design, and is an American Academy of Arts and Letters member. In 2007, King was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award given by the International Sculpture Center.