Update: 3:25 p.m. Memorials
Meanwhile, The Courier-Journal reports that King had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma a few years ago.
Update 11:22 a.m.: Council Gathers For Memorial
Metro Council members and officials gathered Thursday to remember Jim King, the Metro Council president who died late Wednesday.
Speaking before the flag outside Metro Hall was to lowered to half-staff, Metro Councilman Kelly Downard praised King, a Democrat, and his work on the council.
“He had the ability to listen to people, he had the ability to bring people together, he was very non-partisan,” said Downard, a Republican. “We used to laugh about the fact that we didn’t work in Frankfort, we didn’t work in Washington, we just worked in Louisville and we could get things done year. He was good. We’re really going to miss him.”
King was first elected in 2004 to the Council’s District 10 seat, which includes parts of the Germantown, Camp Taylor and Buechel neighborhoods. He became council president in 2008. He grew up in the St. Joseph neighborhood and was the president and chief executive of King Southern Bank.
In a statement, Mayor Greg Fischer said:
Our entire city mourns the loss of Jim King — Metro Council President, loving husband, father and grandfather, businessman and entrepreneur.
Jim helped guide our city through an important era in history — the merger of city and county governments. Having been elected to Metro Council in 2004 shortly after merger, he was highly skilled as leader of the Metro Council for an unprecedented five years. He was a very effective steward of Metro Government and an especially strong leader for the Council and the city at large.
I am grateful for the very effective working relationship and friendship I had with Jim. He was a fierce advocate for the greater good of Louisville, and he often helped find common ground on issues of importance to our city. He was a man focused on achieving positive results and a man of great determination, good humor and quick wit. He and his wife, Debbie, were a dynamic civic-centered couple. They have been very generous to our city over many years.
The ultimate measure of a person is the service they provide to others. Jim’s life has been one of service and his legacy will be helping to create a much better and brighter Louisville.
Update: 9:30 a.m.: Flags to Half-Staff
King died Wednesday night, a spokesman for the Metro Council Democratic Caucus has confirmed.
The mayor and council members will gather at Fifth and Jefferson streets at 11 a.m. Thursday for a moment of silence and to lower the flag.
Earlier: Louisville Metro Council President Jim King Dies
The president of the Louisville Metro Council has died, according to reports from WDRB News.
Councilman Jim King died last night after suffering from an unknown illness since November, the news station reported.
WFPL will update this story when more information becomes available.