Chandler, Albert Benjamin

Born in Corydon, Ky., on July 14, 1898. Died, July 15, 1991. Attorney, Governor of Kentucky. U. S. Senator. Commissioner of Baseball. University of Kentucky, LL.B., 1924; LL.D., 1936.

He opened an office for the practice of law in Versailles in 1924.

Beginning a political career as Master Commissioner of Woodford County Circuit Court in 1928, he was a state Senator two years later, and in 1931 began a four-year term as Lieutenant Governor. From 1935-39, he was Governor of Kentucky, and then served in the U.S. Senate from 1939 to 1945. He was High Commissioner of Baseball, named to the office in 1945, and served until 1951. He was returned to the governorship in 1955, serving a term that ended in 1959.

During his first term as Governor, he reorganized state government, cutting the number of boards and commissions from 133 to 22, and left the state free of new indebtedness. During both terms as Governor, he built a number of four-lane highways and during his first term started the old-age pension program in the state. The Albert Benjamin Chandler Medical Center here at UK is named in his honor. He was a major supporter for its construction.

During his Senate career, he served on a number of important Senate committees. In 1943, he was one of five Senators designated by the Senate to visit world battle fronts.

In 1965-66, he was Commissioner of the Continental Professional Football League. He had coached football at Centre College, 1922-27. He was a trustee of the Ty Cobb Foundation, and was one of the first ten persons named to the Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame in 1957. He was President of the International Baseball Conference, 1952-55.

His business interests have included the Coastal States Life Insurance Company, Atlanta, where he served as Vice President, and "The Woodford Sun," weekly newspaper which he has owned and published for a number of years. He organized the Home Life Insurance Company, Louisville, in 1932.

Receiving his early education at Corydon Elementary and High School, he then earned an A.B. degree at Transylvania College (University) in 1921 and the LL.B. degree at UK in 1924. He was recipient of an LL.D. degree from UK in 1936 and from Harvard University Law School in 1937.

He has been a member of the UK Board of Trustees and the Transylvania University Board of Curators, serving the latter school as National Chairman of the 175th Anniversary Development Program. He has been a member of the Order of the Coif, Pi Kappa Alpha, Omicron Delta Kappa, American Legion, the Forty & Eight, F & AM, Knights Templar, Shrine, and B.P.O.E. He also has been a member of the Lexington Country Club, Idle Hour Country Club, and was named an honorary member of the Kentucky Mountain Club.

He received the Bishop's Medal of the Episcopal Church in 1959, was named Man of the Year by both the Kentucky Press Association and the Kentucky Broadcasting Association, and he received the Cross of Military Service from the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1959. He served in the U. S. Army with the Advocate Generals Office and remained in the reserve for a number of years as a captain. He served St. John's Church, Versailles, as a vestryman. He also was Democratic National Committeeman for Kentucky.

Albert Benjamin Chandler was named to the Hall of Distinguished Alumni in February 1965.

References: 
University of Kentucky Alumni Association
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