President King is a character in Garry Trudeau's comic strip Doonesbury. His name was inspired by that of Kingman Brewster, who was the president of Yale University when Trudeau was a student there. President KingKing is the president of Walden College, which was attended by most of the main characters in the 1970s. His first appearance coincided with the introduction of Mark Slackmeyer, one of the primary characters. The left-wing radical "Megaphone Mark", protested (nothing in particular, just general protesting) by demanding that King surrender his office to him. Mark had hoped to be violently opposed in order to get publicity and public sympathy for his myriad causes, and was unpleasantly surprised when King happily vacated, even going so far as to offer to show Mark where the brandy and cigars were kept.
Despite this initial portrayal as incredibily genial, King's later appearances show him as a much more cynical man. Indeed, Mark tried the same trick a couple of years later, and King responded simply by having a water cannon fired at him.
Garry Trudeau often used Walden College to reflect the state of education in America and, as its president, King had an intricate role in these portrayals. Throughout his tenure Walden has degenerated from an institution that was considered almost on par with Yale (on which Walden was based) to a third-rate school that isn't even fully accredited.
Little of this can be directly attributed to King, but he doesn't do much to help. He dislikes his students, and has an incredibly difficult time understanding the views and behaviors of Generations X, and Y. He drinks five martinis a day, and spends most of his time trying to con money for his school out of its alumni. King desperately wants to improve the school's image, not so much because he cares for it, but because he wants to help his own reputation and get a job at a better school. In his most desperate plan, he decreed that a high school diploma was not required for enrollment. This allowed Walden to get first crack at all the 17-year-old juniors before anyone else could. Jeff Redfern was enrolled by this method.
One of the strip's most famous traditions is a summer Sunday strip in which he addresses the graduating class. These strips always satirize current educational issues, from job opportunities to grade inflation.