- Jack Burden
- Willie Stark
- Anne Stanton
- Mrs. Murrell
- Judge Montague Irwin
- Dr. Adam Stanton
- Sadie Burke
- Ellis Burden
- Lucy Stark
- Tom Stark
- Cass Mastern
- Annabelle Trice
- Duncan Trice
- Tiny Duffy
- Sugar-Boy O'Sheean
- Theodore Murrell
- Mortimer L. Littlepaugh
- Miss Lily Mae Littlepaugh
- Gilbert Mastern
- Hugh Miller
- Mr. Byram B. White
- Lois Seager
- Gummy Larsen
- Best of the Web
- Write Essay
Meet the Cast
Jack is more than a narrator telling us about Willie Stark. In fact, near the end of the novel Jack tells us, "This has been the story of Willie Stark, but it is my story, too. For I have a story"...
Willie is an American hero, and he seems to be living the American dream. He studies night after night for years to educate himself when he can't afford to finish college, and eventually becomes go...
Anne has been cherished and sheltered from birth in the gentle arms of the Burden's Landing's wealthy society. She's a tender, breathy woman whose speech is punctuated by dashes. Jack Burden is hop...
Jack describes his mother as a "damned expensive present." Mrs. Murrell (we never do learn her first name) is quite a piece of work. Though Jack knows quite a bit about her, he's not sure how to in...
Judge Montague Irwin
Judge Irwin is Jack's real father, and he shoots himself in the heart rather than reveal this secret. He's proud. He's already waited way too long to tell Jack, thinking that acting like a father w...
Dr. Adam Stanton
Adam is a brilliant doctor and surgeon, a skilled pianist, a devoted brother, Jack's childhood friend, a loner with no apparent love interest, and a moral man, but also the murderer of Willie Stark...
Sadie is Willie's "secretary," lover, and behind-the-scenes power broker. Sadie's big talent is politics; she loves it and is extremely good at it. If she were around today, she would probably be r...
For the majority of All the King's Men, Jack thinks that Ellis, the Scholarly Attorney, is his father. Jack can't get over the fact that Ellis walked on him and his mom when he was a young child, l...
Lucy is Willie's first and only wife. They met when she was a schoolteacher, and she contributes to Willie's early inspiration to fight for the schoolhouse bond issue, an issue that ultimately push...
As a football star and son of the Governor, Tom has fancy sports cars, confidence galore, and all the good things money and power can buy. Unlike, say, Anne Stanton, Tom Stark's wealth and privileg...
Cass is the main character of the "story within a story" at the heart of All the King's Men. He is one of Ellis Burden's uncles. This narrative takes place in the decades leading up to the Civil Wa...
Annabelle is a character in the Cass Mastern subplot. Annabelle doesn't come off as a very nice person. When Cass first describes her she seems sympathetic, warm, and human. By the time her affair...
Annabelle is a character in the Cass Mastern subplot. Phebe is Annabelle's slave and the person who finds Duncan Trice's wedding ring under his pillow after he's shot himself. It is implied that Ph...
Duncan plays a role in the Cass Mastern subplot as Cass's friend. He introduces Cass to drinking and gambling, and, perhaps unwisely, to his wife, Annabelle. It is clear from day one of their frien...
Tiny is a nasty piece of work. Willie makes him Lieutenant Governor in order to keep him close by, and, hopefully, out of trouble. Willie dies as a result of Tiny's betrayal: Tiny calls Adam Stanto...
Sugar-Boy is Willie's driver and bodyguard. He loves three things: driving fast, shooting his gun, and the Boss. He got his name because he keeps a supply of sugar cubes in his pockets, which he su...
Theodore is Jack's mother's fourth husband, and is ten years her junior. He's a pretty boy, who Jack neither loves nor hates. When the Judge dies, and Mrs. Murrell's love for him is out in the open...
Mortimer L. Littlepaugh
Mortimer is the second person who commits suicide in this novel (the first being Duncan Trice). Jack learns that the powerful combination of Judge Irwin and Governor Stanton, drove the man over the...
Miss Lily Mae Littlepaugh
Miss Lily is Mortimer's sister. She lives with the secrets of her brother's suicide until Jack Burden wrestles the truths out of her. She gives Jack the paper evidence (Mortimer's suicide note) tha...
Gilbert is Cass Mastern's older brother. He educates Cass, and gets him started in the Plantation business. Jack says several times in the book that he understands Gilbert, but not Cass. You could...
Hugh has been with Willie since the early days, and is the Attorney General in his administration. Miller resigns when Willie fails to fire the corrupt State Auditor, Byram White. In the final page...
Mr. Byram B. White
Byram is the State Auditor, and a somewhat pathetic character. When his plan to makes some money by exploiting his position is discovered, Willie dresses him down, but doesn't fire him. By getting...
Lois is Jack's first wife. They have a great sex life, until – Jack realizes she's a human being and not an object. He also realizes he doesn't know her, and doesn't have a desire to do so. T...
Gummy wants the contract to build Willie's hospital, and is willing to do whatever it takes to get it. He plays a behind the scenes role in the deaths of Adam and Willie.