sw wrote:Wow, the Kings were from Chicago and are related to Robinson's. Do you think Alice's side of the family is related to the Obamas? Probably not. But this is the most I've found on Alice Ploche King's family.
Alice King was born in Chicago in 1946 to Leon R. and Lilith S. Ploche. Dr. Ploche was a physician and dentist who practiced in Chicago at least part of the time between 1919 and his death in 1953 at age 59.
Records filed with the American Medical Association and the American Dental Association show that Dr. Ploche was born in Santiago, Cuba, in 1893; graduated from Kingston (Jamaica) High School in 1909; and completed dental school at the University of Illinois in 1919.
For the next 12 years, Dr. Ploche was enrolled at various Chicago-area schools and was a dentist in a blue-collar residential part of Chicago. In 1931, he graduated from Rush Medical College and was licensed as a medical doctor, state records show.
The AMA records list only one location for Dr. Ploche's medical practice: the 1649 Grand Ave. address in Chicago where he had been a dentist.
ADA directories from 1947, 1950 and 1953 indicate that Dr. Ploche - or perhaps his practice - had moved to 2958 North Ave. in Chicago, described as "a very nice middle-income neighborhood" by a woman who grew up in the area at the time Dr. Ploche was there.
Dr. Ploche died of cardiac failure Feb. 1, 1953, in Kingston, Jamaica, AMA records show. A death notice in the Daily Gleaner newspaper in Kingston did not list survivors but said services would be conducted both in Kingston and in Chicago, where Dr. Ploche was to be buried.
Morrow has said Alice King lived in Jamaica for a period of time before returning to her Chicago birthplace. The Kings were married in Chicago in 1968, but apparently did not live there. King worked for First National Bank in Omaha for a short time before taking the job with Franklin in 1970. Mrs. King worked for the United Way as volunteer coordinator.
Even 10 years ago or so, the Kings attracted attention in Omaha because they seemed to entertain more frequently, give larger gifts and spend more money than their incomes appeared to justify.
Friends and acquaintances said they inferred - or, in a few cases, were told directly by the Kings - that Alice had family money.
Hecht, for example, said he once talked to Alice King about her family background in Jamaica. "She told me her family owns a rum factory in Jamaica," he said.
Later, Hecht said, he received information about Alice King's family that convinced him that her relatives didn't own a rum factory.
A former friend said King spoke about receiving $25,000 every three months from a trust fund.
Another acquaintance said Alice King described her father as a former government official in Jamaica and spoke generally about having to flee to the United States to avoid some sort of civil unrest.
The NCUA, in its lawsuit against Mrs. King, has accused her of "representing and supporting her husband in his representation to third parties that their apparent wealth was a result of money from her family."
"That was just a ruse," said one official close to the investigation of King and the credit union.
The World-Herald interviewed journalists, historians, Jamaican officials in both Jamaica and the country's U.S. Embassy, and U.S. Embassy officials in Jamaica.
Those interviewed said it would not be unlikely that Dr. Ploche was Jamaican, despite being born in Cuba. Many Jamaicans migrated to Cuba to seek work in the late 19th century, they said.
But only two people recalled hearing the Ploche name: Brigadier Dunstan Robinson and his brother, Leacroft Robinson.
The Robinsons said they know the Kings and may even be distantly related to Alice through her father, although the brothers did not agree on that point.
The Kings have stayed with the Robinsons in Jamaica, and Leacroft Robinson said he has visited the Kings in Omaha.
Dunstan Robinson said he was the "major general" whom the Kings visited in an August 1974 trip to Jamaica, according to a World-Herald article. The article said the general and other Jamaican officials were related to Mrs. King.
Dunstan Robinson was chief of staff of the Jamaican Defense Force during part of the 1970s under Prime Minister Michael Manley.
Leacroft Robinson, a lawyer, was attorney general of Jamaica from 1972 to 1976.
Leacroft Robinson said he believes that he was "distantly related" to Alice King.
"I gathered that Alice's father was a cousin, or second or third cousins, of my mother," Robinson said. "Alice's parents left Jamaica probably before I was born (in 1916)."
But Dunstan Robinson said he knew of no blood relationship with the Ploche family. The Ploches were friends of his parents.
"Because her parents were such close friends of my parents, Alice likes to think she is related to us," Robinson said. "She has that feeling of kinness."
That isn't unusual for Jamaica, he said. He said it is customary for close family friends to be described as "aunts" or "uncles."
In any case, the Robinsons said, they know Alice King and her husband.
"Certainly they visited us several times," Dunstan Robinson said. "They spent a week or so in my home."
Leacroft Robinson said Alice King stayed with him for two days in 1988 while attending a wedding in Jamaica.
In his deposition, King told the NCUA's attorney that neither he nor his wife own property in Jamaica.
The Robinsons said they did not know of any investments or property that the Kings had on the island. They said the Robinson family is not giving the Kings any money.
"My family has not been a wealthy family," Dunstan Robinson said.
Said Leacroft Robinson: "The attorney general's salary in Jamaica is nowhere near the salary of a good bus driver in the United States."
People familiar with the Robinson family said they are well-off, but do not appear to have great wealth.
Neither Robinson said they knew of any other relatives, aside from the Robinson family, that Alice King had in Jamaica.
"The only relatives that Alice had would be us," Leacroft Robinson said.
Ed Rath/World-Herald King . . . Questions surround his business operations.
Ed Rath/World-Herald Mrs. King . . . lived in Jamaica for a time.
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