A. B. (Happy) CHANDLER was born in Corydon, Kentucky on July 14, 1898. His education was attained at Harvard University, at Transylvania College, and at the University of Kentucky, where he earned a law degree in 1924. He was admitted to the bar in 1925, and established a successful legal practice in Versailles, Kentucky. In 1928, he secured an appointment as master commissioner of the Woodford County Circuit Court. Chandler entered politics in 1930, serving as a member of the Kentucky State Senate, a position he held until 1931. He also served as the lieutenant governor of Kentucky from 1931 to 1935. Chandler won the 1935 Democratic gubernatorial nomination, was elected governor, and sworn into office on December 10, 1935. During his first term, funding was secured for the improvement of roads, schools, asylums and penitentiaries; an old-age assistance program was instituted, a state rural electrification program was authorized, the state deficit was reduced, and state government was restructured. In 1939, Chandler was appointed to the U.S. Senate, and subsequently resigned from the governor’s office on October 9, 1939. He served in the senate from October 10, 1939 until November 1, 1945, when he resigned to become baseball commissioner, a position he held until 1950. In 1955, Chandler won reelection to the governorship. During his second tenure, five million dollars was sanctioned to establish a medical school at the University of Kentucky, state universities and colleges were given a lucrative budget, a state employee retirement program was instituted, and corporate taxes were increased. Chandler left office on December 8, 1959, and retired from politics after failed reelection bids in 1963, 1967 and 1971. He continued to stay active serving on numerous boards and foundations. Governor A.B. (Happy) Chandler passed away on June 14, 1991, and was buried in the churchyard at the Pisgah Presbyterian Church near Versailles.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.