He was a past winner of the W. Somerset Maugham Prize for his novel The Dividing Stream (1951) and also won the Katherine Mansfield Short Story Prize. His 1956 book "The firewalkers" was published pseudonymously under the name Frank Cauldwell.
A President Emeritus of International PEN and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he was appointed an Officer (OBE) of the Order of the British Empire in 1979 and a Commander of the Order (CBE) in 1985.
King came out as homosexual in the 1970s; in Yesterday Came Suddenly (1993), after his long-term partner had died from AIDS in 1988, he described the relationship. King suffered a stroke in 2005.
Francis King died on July 3, 2011 at the age of 88.