Governor of Kentucky
This article is about one of four John Young Browns, from Kentucky, who have served in political office. For others see: John Young Brown File:Symbol support vote. svg En:John Y. Brown, Jr. 55th Governor of Kentucky In officeDecember 11, 1979 – December 13, 1983 Lieutenant Martha L. Collins Preceded by Julian M. Carroll Succeeded by Martha L. Collins Born December 28, 1933 (1933-12-28) (age 78)Template:Safesubst:Lexington, KentuckyTemplate:Safesubst: Birth name John Young Brown, Jr. Political party Democratic Spouse(s) Eleanor Durall (1960-1977) Phyllis George (1979-1998) Jill Roach (1998-2003) Relations Son of John Y. Brown, Sr. Children Four children, including John Y. Brown, III and Pamela Ashley Brown Alma mater University of Kentucky Profession Attorney, Businessman Website http://www. johnybrownjr. com/ Military service Service/branch U.S. Army Reserve Years of service 1959–1965 John Young Brown, Jr. (born December 28, 1933) is a politician, entrepreneur, and businessman from the U.S. state of Kentucky. He served as the 55th governor of Kentucky from 1979 to 1983, although he may be best known for building Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) into a multi-million dollar restaurant chain. Currently single, he has been married three times, the second time to former Miss America Phyllis George. Among his children are news anchor Pamela Ashley Brown and former Secretary of State of Kentucky John Y. Brown, III. The son of a U.S. congressman, Brown's talent for business became evident in college, where he made a substantial amount of money selling Encyclopædia Britannica sets. After briefly practicing law with his father, he purchased Kentucky Fried Chicken from founder Harland Sanders in 1964. Brown turned the company into a world-wide success, and sold his interest in the company for a huge profit in 1971. He then invested in several other restaurant ventures, but none matched the success of KFC. During the 1970s, he also owned, at various times, three professional basketball teams – the American Basketball Association's Kentucky Colonels, and the National Basketball Association's Buffalo Braves and Boston Celtics. Despite having previously shown little inclination toward politics, Brown surprised political observers by declaring his candidacy for governor in 1979. With the state and nation facing difficult economic times, Brown promised to run the state government like a business. A strong media campaign funded by his personal fortune allowed him to win the Democratic primary and go on to defeat former Republican governor Louie B. Nunn in the general election. Because he owed few favors to established political leaders, he appointed many successful businesspeople to state posts instead of making political appointments. Following through on his campaign promise to make more diverse appointments, he named a woman and an African-American to his cabinet. During his tenure, Brown exerted less influence over the legislature than previous governors and was frequently absent from the state, leaving lieutenant governor Martha Layne Collins as acting governor for more than one quarter of his term. He briefly considered a run for the U.S. Senate after his gubernatorial term, but withdrew from the race after only three weeks, citing health issues. He has continued to invest in business ventures, the most high profile of which was Kenny Rogers Roasters, a wood-roasted chicken restaurant he founded with country music star Kenny Rogers.