Clarence Rivers King (January 6, 1842 - December 24, 1901) was an American geologist, mountaineer, and author. King was born in Newport Rhode Island to a merchant family involved in the China trade. He developed an early interest in outdoor life, natural history, and geology - fields encouraged by both his mother and the head of the Christ Church Hall School of Pomfret, where he studied. From 13, he attended the prestigious Hartford High School, then Sheffield Scientific School (where he met James Terry Gardiner), and in 1860, Yale College. Graduating, he briefly moved to New York where he roomed with Gardiner, but the two quickly developed a plan to travel west on horseback. Following the wagon trains, they made their way to San Francisco, where both eventually took work with the California Geological Survey under Josiah Whitney (November 23, 1819 - August 18, 1896). In 1864 and 1865 they completed the first scientific survey of the Yosemite Valley and the High Sierra. In 1867 he conceived, planned, and led, along with Gardiner, the Fortieth Parallel Survey, during which he exposed the Diamond Hoax of 1872. From 1879 to 1881, he was the first director of the United States Geological Survey. In a bizarre twist, in the late 1880s King fell in love with Ada Copeland (1860 - 1964), an African American nursemaid and former slave from Georgia. Although he had light skin and eyes, King convinced her he was an African American railroad pullman worker named James Todd. They married in September 1888, having 5 children. Thus, King led a remarkable double life, at both the highest and lowest echelons of 19th century American society. After King died, Ada fought a legal battle to collect his inheritance, which ultimately failed. Nonetheless, former friends of King, particularly John Hay, stepped up to support Ada until her death at the impressive age of 104. King himself died of tuberculosis in Phoenix, Arizona, and was buried in Newport, Rhode Island.