John King is a native of Boston and earned a bachelor's degree in journalism, as well as an honorary doctorate, from the University of Rhode Island. King joined CNN in May 1997 and became chief national correspondent in April 2005. He is the former anchor of John King, USA and State of the Union with John King.

In addition to his domestic reporting, he has covered firsthand a number of major international events, including the first Persian Gulf War, the U.S. military operation to restore the Aristide government to Haiti and the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as president of South Africa. He was among the first correspondents to report in 1991 from a liberated Kuwait and received the top reporting prize for his coverage of the 1991 Gulf War from the Associated Press Managing Editors' Association.