Collection Title: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project – Politics and Government
Series Number: OH169 (Session 2)
Interviewee: Breathitt, Edward T., Jr.
Interviewer: Kenneth E. Harrell
Date interviewed: March 3, 1988
Processed by: Processed by Benjamin J. Drake in April 2012.
Date processed: April 10, 2012
Description: 6 sound discs (4 hours 17 minutes)
Abstract: Edward Thompson Breathitt, Jr., former governor of Kentucky, discusses his family history and political career. He begins the interview by recounting the genealogy of Breathitt family and their influence on the development of Hopkinsville, Kentucky. He offers his opinion on political figures Happy Chandler and Alben Barkley. He describes his childhood experiences prior to and during the Great Depression. The second series of interviews cover primarily Breathitt's early political and law career. He further discusses significant figures on Kentucky politic and concludes with his opinions on the office of lieutenant governor, state workers' contracts and the merit system.
Biographical / Historical note: Edward Thompson Breathitt, Jr. was born on November 26, 1924 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. He graduated from Hopkinsville High School in 1942 and briefly attended the University of Kentucky pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Commerce before entering the Army Air Corps later that year. Throughout the most of the Second World War Breathitt trained as a pilot and in 1945 was discharged with the rank of Aviation Cadet. He returned to the University of Kentucky and completed his degree before entering the university's law school where he acquired a law degree in 1950. In 1950, he opened a law firm in Hopkinsville and was elected to the Kentucky Legislature the following year. In 1963, Breathitt was elected governor of Kentucky and served until 1967. Following his term as governor, he returned to his Hopkinsville law firm and served as lawyer for the Southern Railway and later Norfolk Southern Corporation from 1967 until his retirement in 1992. He also served on the Board of Regents for Kentucky State University, Morehead State University, and University of Kentucky. He died on October 14, 2003.
General information: No user access to original recordings. Use audio user copies, digital derivatives, transcripts, and/or tape indexes. This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code). Permission for reproduction must be requested from Murray State University.