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William M. Lear, Jr.

William Lear, Jr.

2010 Hall of Fame Inductee

Class of 1975

Since graduating from the College of Law, Bill Lear has served his clients, his community, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky in many capacities: outstanding attorney Managing Partner of one of the state’s largest law firms State Legislator prosecuting attorney Lexington-Fayette Commissioner of Law civic leader and urban developer. 

As a 5-term State Representative, Mr. Lear gained national recognition as the architect and legislative sponsor of the Kentucky Economic Development Partnership that radically restructured the state’s Economic Development Cabinet and programs. In addition, he successfully sponsored a number of significant pieces of legislation, including Kentucky’s Whistleblower Law and the state Seat Belt Law, as well as major property tax, election, and sentencing reform measures. 

Mr. Lear’s past community involvement includes service as Chairman of: Greater Lexington Chamber of Commerce Lexington United Lexington Partnership for Workforce Development LexTran Lexington Downtown Development Authority. 

Current positions he holds include: Trustee, Keeneland Association Board Member, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Lexington Strides Ahead Foundation, Commonwealth Seed Capital Corporation Vice Chair, GLI Business Leaders for Education. 

Mr. Lear is listed in Best Lawyers in America and Kentucky Super Lawyers. His numerous other awards include the Governor’s Economic Development Leadership Award, the Kentucky Medical Association Layperson of the Year Award, and induction into the Kentucky Economic Development Hall of Fame. 

Mr. Lear and his wife, Evangeline, have three children and four grandchildren, all residing in Lexington.