Alabama Academy of Honor


Olin Berry King

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 1988 and 2012.



Mr. Olin B. King first saw the light of day in Sandersville, Georgia, where he received his grammar and high school education. It was at North Georgia College that he earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in physics. He continued his quest for additional knowledge with graduate work at Emory University, Rutgers University, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Olin King served his country during the Korean War as an officer in the United States Army Signal Corps.

He began his professional and business career as a design engineer for Radio Corporation of America. In 1957, he became associated with the Army Ballistic Missile Agency in Huntsville, Alabama.

In 1961, Mr. King founded SCI Systems and subsequently has guided this electronic manufacturer so skillfully that Fortune Magazine designated this firm one of the 500 most successful enterprises in the United States. In just a few years, under Mr. King's leadership, SCI Systems grew from an organization working a handful of people to employing more than 5,000 wage earners. SCI Systems has plants in Europe and Asia in addition to its American operations.

With the tremendous demands on his energies as executive head of SCI Systems, he somehow finds time to be active in the Boy Scouts of America program; Director, Alabama Research Institute; Director, Huntsville Symphony Orchestra; and a member of the University of Alabama at Huntsville Science and Engineering Advisory Committee.

In addition to being Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of SCI Systems, he was a Director of First National Bank Shares, Inc., Director Delta Communications, Inc., and Director Norlite Computer Systems, Inc.

Olin B. King was an inventor, holder of several patents and author of a number of business and engineering articles.

In 1983, Mr. King was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Alabama. In 1984, he was named Executive of the Year by National Management Association.

Olin King was married to the former Shelbie Abbott and they are the parents of two sons and two daughters.

Olin King passed away on June 16, 2012.