Herb King, a pioneering World War II veteran best known for formulating 'K' Rations, passed away as a result of a heart attack Sept. 24. A tireless advocate for lifting the nation's ban on lesbian, gay and bisexual service personnel, King was a member of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network ( SLDN ) , the Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Veterans of America ( GLBVA ) and a two-time delegate to the Democratic National Convention. During his time in the Army, King achieved the rank of Major and Battalion Commander. After retiring from the Army, he became an industrial engineer, and worked for more than 20 years in the civilian sector.
"Our nation's servicemembers have lost a true friend and a genuine hero," said C. Dixon Osburn, Executive Director SLDN. "Herb's service to our country, and his dedication to speaking up for those silenced by federally sanctioned discrimination, made him an irreplaceable advocate for our community. He will be deeply missed."
In 1993, in conjunction with the National March on Washington, King participated in a cross-country bus tour, with three other lesbian and gay veterans, advocating for repeal of the Pentagon's anti-gay policies. He also wrote regularly for a number of LGBT publications.
King is survived by his partner, Stan Mahan, also a World War II veteran.