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The Candelari Collection - Joanne King (1970)

Steve Candelari

Silent | 1970

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  •  Socialite Joanne King chats with several guests at the party 
  •  King drops by another gathering 
  •  Plating the meal 
 
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In this silent footage from 1970, possibly shot for a KHOU-TV news report, socialite and television host Joanne King (now known as Joanne King Herring) attends several parties in her hometown of Houston. Accompanied by her son, King mingles with guests and tastes the chef-prepared meal.
International socialite and diplomat Joanne King Herring was born Joanne Johnson on July 3, 1929, in Houston, Texas. In the late 1950s, already a fixture of the Houston social circuit, Herring began hosting her own daytime talk show, The Joanne King Show, on KHOU-TV and later KPRC. The show lasted for 15 years. 
 
By the 1970s, Herring became more involved in international politics. She developed a long association and political relation with President Zia-ul-Haq of Pakistan, ultimately serving as the nation’s honorary consul and winning the Tamgha-e-Quaid-e-Azam, or Jinnah Medal, Pakistan’s highest civilian honor.  
 
Throughout the 1980s, Herring also worked with Charles Wilson, a U.S. Representative from Texas, to persuade the federal government to train and arm the Mujahideen resistance fighters in Soviet-occupied Afghanistan, a program later known as Operation Cyclone. Herring convinced Wilson to visit a Afghan refugee camp in Pakistan, an experience that Wilson later credited as the deciding factor in his determination to take action. Their efforts inspired the book Charlie Wilson’s War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History. Actress Julia Roberts portrayed Herring in the film adaptation of the book.
 
Herring remains a very active figure among Houston’s social circles. In 2009, she founded Marshall Plan Charities to complement U.S. military efforts in Afghanistan by providing villages with clean water, food, health care, schools, and jobs.