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John Y. Brown, Jr.

John Y Brown

2008 Hall of Fame Inductee

Class of 1960

John Y. Brown, Jr. was the 55th governor of Kentucky. He received his BA from the University of Kentucky in 1957 and a JD in 1960 from the UK College of Law. 

Brown became governor in his first political race, after a recognized career as a successful businessman. He established his reputation in the international business world when he turned Kentucky Fried Chicken, Inc. into one of the largest fast-food operations in the world. Brown built the Pamela Brown Auditorium in honor of his sister. He made a matching gift of $1 Million to build the downtown Louisville YMCA. He helped established the Sanders-Brown Research Center on Aging at the University of Kentucky, in honor of Colonel Harland Sanders and his father, John Y. Brown Sr. In 2005, Brown was instrumental in open the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, KY. 

Brown’s involvement with the Democratic Party began when he was named as vice-chairman of John F. Kennedy’s 1960 presidential campaign in Kentucky. In 1972 he served as honorary treasurer of the Democratic Party. Brown served as chairman of the Democratic National Telethon in 1972, 1972 and 1974. In 1983, the National Democratic Party named him Democrat of the Year.