American Congressman & Businessman, John Y. Brown Jr., dies at 88

John Y. Brown Jr was a politician, businessman, and entrepreneur who was the best know to serve as the 55th governor of Kentucky and son of  United States Congressman John Y. Brown Sr.

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KFC Owner and Kentucky Governer John Y. Brown Jr. Dies

People in the neighborhood have been saddened by the news of the passing of politician, businessman, and entrepreneur John Y. Brown Jr., who was the 55th governor of Kentucky. According to his Wikipedia article, Brown passed away at the age of 88 on November 22, 2022, in a hospital in Lexington. Since the summer, he has been suffering from health issues caused by COVID-19.

One of his sons wrote:

“Our Dad, John Y. Brown Jr., not only imagined the impossible goal, he lived it to the very end.” This statement made his passing public. He had an unmatched zeal for life and an optimistic outlook, which helped him overcome numerous obstacles.

Early Life, Family, and Age of John Y. Brown Jr.

Brown was born in Lexington, Kentucky, on December 28, 1933. He was 88 years old. Of the five children John Y. and Dorothy Inman Brown had, he was the only son.

John Y. Brown Jr. Family

His father served nearly three decades in the Kentucky state legislature, including a time as Speaker of the House, and was a representative from Kentucky in the U.S. Congress. John Sr. was not related to the governor of the same name in the nineteenth century, although sharing the same name.

Career/ Business Overview

Brown’s financial acumen was evident in college, where he earned a sizable sum of money and He temporarily worked as a lawyer alongside his father before buying Kentucky Fried Chicken in 1964 from its creator, Harland Sanders. Brown made the business a global success before selling his ownership stake for a significant profit in 1971. He then made investments in a number of other restaurants, but none of them were as successful as KFC. In the 1970s, he also owned three professional basketball clubs at various points.

Although Brown had previously shown little interest in politics, his decision to run for governor in the 1979 election shocked political observers. Brown pledged to manage the state government like a company in light of the challenging economic conditions the state and the country are experiencing. He was able to defeat former Republican governor Louie B. Nunn in the general election thanks to a successful media campaign supported by money from his personal fortune that helped him win the Democratic primary.

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He owed established political figures few favors, thus in lieu of political nominations, he appointed numerous prosperous businesspeople to public positions. Brown was frequently abroad from the state and had less power over the legislature than other governors, so lieutenant governor Martha Layne Collins served as acting governor for more than a quarter of his term.

Education History

Brown was a seventeen-time letter winner in several sports while he was a student at Lexington’s Lafayette High School. Brown enrolled at the University of Kentucky after high school, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1957 and a law degree in 1960.

Wives and children

He first married  Eleanor Bennett Durall in 1960, with whom he had three children. They are John Young Brown III, Eleanor Faris, and Sandra Bennett. Although Brown’s first marriage did result in divorce, he later married Phyllis George, a former Miss America who worked as a sportscaster for CBS, on March 17, 1979. They both have two children.

John Y. Brown Jr. Wife

They are  Lincoln Tyler George Brown and Pamela Ashley Brown. However, in August 1995, Brown and Phyllis, his second wife, divorced. Then, 27 years his junior and the former Mrs. Kentucky, Jill Louise Roach, was married to him. But they went through another divorce in 2003 for an undisclosed reason.