From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

King, Norris Curtis

(born: 1894  -  died: 1960) 

Dr. Norris Curtis King was the founder of Curtis King Hospital in Newnan, GA, and in 1941, the Rose Netta Hospital in Los Angeles, CA. Dr. King was born in Princeton, KY, the son of Dee and Nettie Metcalf King. The family of four moved to Cairo, IL, where they lived on Poplar Street, according to the 1900 U.S. Census. Norris King completed high school in Cairo. By 1910, his father had died, and the family of three was living in Louisville, KY on W. Chestnut Street [source: U.S. Federal Census]. Norris was employed as a presser in a tailor shop, and his brother Cassius was a roller in an iron foundry.

By 1920, Norris and his mother lived in Nashville, TN, where Norris King was a student at Roger Williams University [source: U.S. Federal Census]. His brother Cassius S. King was single and living in St. Louis, MO, working as a laborer in a freight house [source: World War I draft registration card].

Norris King continued his education, graduating in 1924 from Meharry Medical School [now Meharry Medical College]. He moved to Newnan, GA, where he opened his medical practice and later founded the Curtis King Hospital. His specialty was the prevention and cure of venereal diseases.

While in Newnan, King met and married Rosa Mae Webb, who was a nurse. The couple had a daughter, and in 1929 the family moved to Los Angeles, where Dr. King founded the Rose Netta Hospital. It was said to be an interracial hospital because the employees were Negroes, Mexicans, Japanese and White assistants.

Dr. King was also head of the Los Angeles Venereal Clinic and several other clinics. The first interracial blood bank was established at the Rose Netta Hospital by the Red Cross in 1942. Dr. King's brother, Cassius Samuel King, also lived in California in 1942, where he worked at a Ford service garage [source: World War II draft registration card]. Prior to that, in 1930 Cassius  was married, worked as a janitor in an apartment house, and lived at 1675 115th Street with their mother, Nettie Metcalf King [source: U.S. Census]. The home, owned by Nettie, was valued at $2500. Nettie died February 12, 1940 [source: California Death Index]. That year, Cassius was divorced, working at a car service place, and living alone in a rented place on South Central Avenue for $16 per month [source: U.S. Census]. Cassius King died in Los Angeles on December 9, 1962 [source: California Death Index], two years after his brother died.

In addition to his medical work, Dr. Norris King had sponsored the "Craftsman of Black Wings," a Negro aviator and student group seeking to become licensed pilots. Dr. King also owned and bred palomino horses on his ranch in Elsinore, CA. He was a member of the Palomino Horse Association and several other organizations, including the Masons, with whom he was a 33rd Degree Mason. He was a World War I veteran,  later receiving a certificate of merit and selective service medal for outstanding work during World War II. Dr. Norris Curtis King died December 29, 1960 in Riverside, CA [source: California Death Index].

For more see Norris Curtis King on p. 32 in Negro Who's Who in California, 1948 edition; "Dr. Norris Curtis King," Jet, 1/19/1961, p. 17; "Dr. Norris Curtis King," J.A.M.A., 5/20/1961, p. 143; and “Rose-Netta Hospital, L.A.,” Opportunity, 8/20/1942, p. 429.

Kentucky County & Region

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Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Princeton, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Louisville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Negro who's who in California
NKAA Source: Jet (periodical)
NKAA Source: JAMA the journal of the American Medical Association (periodical)
NKAA Source: Opportunity : journal of Negro life (periodical)

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry: Whittaker, Richard Salinthus

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“King, Norris Curtis,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 18, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-12-06 18:20:38