Ruby Laffoon

Ruby Laffoon

Born Jan 15, 1869

Ruby Laffoon was a politician from the U.S. state of Kentucky. He was the state's 43rd governor, serving from 1931 to 1935. At age 17, Laffoon moved to Washington, D.C. to live with his uncle, U.S. Representative Polk Laffoon. He developed an interest in politics and returned to Kentucky, where he compiled a mixed record of victories and defeats in elections at the county and state levels.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Ruby Laffoon.


1869 Birth Ruby Laffoon was born on January 15, 1869, in a log cabin in Madisonville, Kentucky. … Read More


1886 17 Years Old In 1886, Laffoon moved to Washington, D.C. to live with his uncle, U.S. Representative Polk Laffoon. … Read More
1887 18 Years Old In September 1887, he enrolled at Columbia Law School (asserted by Vernon Gipson to have been a prior designation for George Washington University Law School).
1888 19 Years Old On October 17, 1888, he matriculated to Washington and Lee University, where he earned a law degree in 1890. … Read More


1892 23 Years Old In 1892, he was elected city attorney of Madisonville over Ward Headley.
1894 25 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1894, he ran for the office of county attorney for Hopkins County, but lost to Roy Salmon by seventeen votes.
1897 28 Years Old To supplement the family's income, Ruby Laffoon became a partner in the Madisonville branch of the Phoenix Insurance Company in 1897.


1901 32 Years Old He sold his interest in the company in 1901, the same year he made a second bid to become county attorney. … Read More
1905 36 Years Old In 1905, he was re-elected to his post, marking the first time in the history of Hopkins County that the county attorney had been re-elected.
1907 38 Years Old In 1907, Laffoon sought the office of state treasurer. … Read More


1911 42 Years Old In 1911, he ran for state auditor, but lost in the primary to Henry Bosworth. That same year, he was elected as one of Hopkins County's delegates to the state Democratic convention. A bill passed in the state legislature in 1912 created a State Insurance Rating Board under the office of state auditor, and Bosworth appointed Laffoon chairman of the board due to his experience in the insurance field and as a reward for his loyalty to the party.
1915 46 Years Old In 1915, Laffoon sought the post of Commonwealth's Attorney for the Fourth Judicial District, which comprised Hopkins, Caldwell, Crittenden, and Livingston counties. … Read More
1918 49 Years Old In September 1918, Laffoon moved to San Antonio, Texas, where he opened a law practice and managed a citrus fruit business near Galveston. … Read More


1921 52 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1921, he sought election to the bench of the Fourth District Circuit Court. … Read More
1927 58 Years Old He was re-elected for a second six-year term in 1927.


1931 - 1932 2 More Events
1933 64 Years Old 1 More Event
Laffoon responded to the economic crisis by declaring a four-day banking holiday to begin on March 1, 1933. … Read More
1934 65 Years Old 1 More Event
The General Assembly was split three ways when it convened in 1934. … Read More
Laffoon's feud with Lieutenant Governor Chandler continued throughout his term and affected the 1935 gubernatorial race. (At the time, the lieutenant governor was elected independently from the governor.) Term-limited by the state constitution, Laffoon supported political boss Tom Rhea to succeed him as governor, and convinced the Democrats to again hold a nominating convention to choose their gubernatorial nominee. … Read More
…  President Roosevelt, not wanting Democratic factionalism to cost him votes in the 1936 presidential election, attempted to bring together the Laffoon and Chandler factions, but to little avail. … Read More
1940 71 Years Old He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1940, and despite his differences with President Roosevelt during his gubernatorial term, he supported Roosevelt's re-election.
Defying a doctor's order not to work for two weeks due to high blood pressure, Laffoon presided for three days as a special judge in the Union County Circuit Court in February 1941.
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