Ray Blanton

Born Apr 10, 1930

Leonard Ray Blanton was an American politician who served as Governor of Tennessee from 1975 to 1975. He also served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, from 1967 to 1973. Though he initiated a number of government reforms and was instrumental in bringing foreign investment to Tennessee, his term as governor was marred by scandal, namely over the selling of pardons and liquor licenses.… Read More

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1930 Birth Born on April 10, 1930.


1948 18 Years Old Blanton graduated from Shiloh High School in 1948, and obtained a bachelor's degree in agriculture from the University of Tennessee in 1951.
1949 19 Years Old Blanton married Betty Littlefield in 1949. They had three children before they divorced in 1979.


1951 21 Years Old He taught school in Mooresville, Indiana, from 1951 to 1953, when he returned to Adamsville to work in the family construction business, B&B Construction.


1964 34 Years Old In 1964, Blanton was elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives, representing McNairy County. … Read More
1966 36 Years Old In 1966, Blanton ran for Congress, challenging 12-term incumbent and former Crump machine ally Tom J. Murray in the Democratic primary for the 7th congressional district, which was based in Jackson and included Adamsville. … Read More


1970 40 Years Old 1 More Event
Tennessee lost a congressional district after the 1970 census, and the legislature merged most of Blanton's territory with the neighboring 8th District of popular fellow Democrat, Ed Jones. … Read More
1972 42 Years Old Rather than run against Jones in 1972, Blanton decided to run for the U.S. Senate. … Read More
1974 44 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1974, Blanton won a twelve-person Democratic primary for governor.
1977 47 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1977, the "surplus car scandal" erupted when state officials were accused of selling surplus state-owned cars to political allies. … Read More
1978 48 Years Old On December 15, 1978, the FBI raided the state capitol, and seized documents from the office of Blanton's legal advisor, T. Edward Sisk. … Read More
1979 49 Years Old On January 15, 1979, near the end of his term, Blanton issued pardons to 52 state prisoners, including 20 convicted murderers. … Read More


1988 58 Years Old 1 More Event
Blanton spent the last decade of his life trying unsuccessfully to clear his name. In 1988, he ran for the retiring Ed Jones' 8th district congressional seat. … Read More


1996 67 Years Old Blanton died on November 22, 1996, at the Jackson-Madison County Hospital in Jackson while awaiting a liver transplant. … Read More
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