NEW RELEASE: Judge Sam King: A Memoir
When Judge Samuel P. King died in 2010 at the age of 94, Hawai‘i Gov. Neil Abercrombie called him “the heart and soul of Hawai‘i.” Now, in King’s own words, Judge Sam King: A Memoir presents the story of the man who not only witnessed Hawaiian history but helped shape the future of the islands he loved.
Born to one of Hawai‘i’s most illustrious families, Samuel Pailthorpe King presided over state and federal courtrooms for more than a half-century—making landmark decisions with warmth, wisdom and an enduring humanity—but was perhaps best known for protecting people who had little or no power of their own. King presided over some of Hawai‘i’s most sensational trials, from organized crime to the Palmyra murder trials, and upheld the 1967 Hawai‘i Land Reform Act, which shifted property ownership in Hawai‘i from large trusts to ordinary citizens. King was also a co-author of the original “Broken Trust” essay in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and the subsequent book of the same title chronicling the mismanagement of the Bishop Estate by its trustees in the 1990s. He liked to observe that “people aren’t created for laws; laws are created for people” and believed that the whole purpose of government, besides keeping its people safe, is to protect the underprivileged from the privileged. In the book’s foreword, the late U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye called King “the real deal,” noting that “Hawai‘i was fortunate to have had Sam King on the bench. He served the people of Hawai‘i well and brought honor to our state and nation.”
The newly released memoir was co-authored by Jerry Burris, one-time political reporter and editorial-page editor for the Honolulu Advertiser and a former staff writer for Hawaii Business magazine, and longtime Advertiser court reporter Ken Kobayashi, now a reporter with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. In 2009 Burris and Kobayashi began a series of recorded conversations with King, meeting several times a week in the judge’s office. After King’s passing a year later, the duo continued work on the book, with support from the King family, combining the recorded conversations with an oral history conducted by King’s former law clerk, Susan Lee Waggener, and the trove of writings, news stories, speeches and other material carefully saved and organized by King’s wife, Anne, and Rebecca Berry, the judge’s secretary for much of his legal career.
MEET THE CO-AUTHORS
Jerry Burris and Ken Kobayashi will sign books at Barnes & Noble, Ala Moana, on Friday, Nov. 22 at 6pm.