The John Reed King Scholarship

Investing In Our Future

Scholarship applications are available to students attending Fresno-area colleges and universities that offer communications and marketing degrees. Since 1979, awards are estimated to have exceeded $75,000.00.

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Helping young people enter the advertising, marketing, graphic design and public relations professions is part of the missions of the Fresno Advertising Federation and the Fresno Advertising Foundation. The scholarship is named in memory of a dear friend to the local advertising industry: John Reed King.

Born in 1914 in Wilmington, Delaware, John Reed King was a famous radio and television game show host who hosted numerous game shows during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. He had one of the top rated radio shows of the 1930s with “Missus Goes A-Shopping.” He hosted the first television game shows ever broadcast: on August 1, 1944, he hosted “Missus Goes A-Shopping,” and on January 29, 1946 he hosted “It's a Gift.”

In addition to his radio and television quiz shows, Mr. Kingwas also notable as the voice of many Paramount newsreels, and for a time he wascoordinating producer of the series. His voice can often be heard on the Turner Movie Classics cable network when the movie newsreels are replayed from time to time.

In the 1950s, Mr. King was a vice president at the McCann Erickson advertising agency, where he was the star of radio’s “Sky King” and producer of one of television’s most popular series of the late 1950’s, “Death Valley Days,” which featured, among other hosts, Ronald Reagan.

Fresno advertising executives Cliff Davis and Vern Crow hired Mr. King to perform in local television and radio commercials for a financial institution in 1970. Mr. King so enjoyed his brief visit to central California that he decided to make Fresno his home in 1972. He worked a brief period for Cliff Davis Advertising, and held a position as news anchor at Channel 47.

A member of the Fresno Advertising Federation when he lived in Fresno, Mr. King served as president and worked with great vigor on the organization’s behalf. While serving as Federation president, he was one of the creators, writers and actors in “Mad Club Madness I & II” live musical-comedy revues that filled theaters and raised funds for scholarships. The photographs and satiric ads that appear here are from “Madness” programs.

John Reed King was the Director of Business Development for a local financial institution and an honorary member of the Fresno Advertising Federation until his sudden death in 1979 from a heart attack. Because of his high standards, friendship and professional qualities, the Fresno Advertising Federation’s Board of Directors named its scholarship fund in Mr. King’s memory.