Michael King, who was tragically killed in 2004, was one of New Zealand's leading historians. Over three decades he wrote or edited more than 30 books, most of them New Zealand history or biography. He won a wide range of awards for this work, including the New Zealand Book Award for Non-fiction, the Wattie Book of the Year (twice), the Montana Medal for Non-fiction and, in 2003, an inaugural Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement. He was a contributor to the prestigious Oxford History of New Zealand and wrote for all five volumes of The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Dr King taught or held fellowships at seven universities in New Zealand and other countries, including Georgetown University in Washington DC, where he was Visiting Professor of New Zealand Studies.