Earle Chester Clements

Gov. Earle Chester Clements


December 9, 1947 - November 27, 1950

October 22, 1896

March 12, 1985




Birth State

National Office(s) Served:
Representative, Senator

Military Service:

Married Sarah M. Blue; one child


EARLE C. CLEMENTS was born in Morganfield, Kentucky on October 22, 1896. His education was attained at Morganfield High School, and at the University of Kentucky. During World War I, he served in the infantry, and attained the rank of captain at the time of his discharge in 1919. Clements entered politics in 1922, serving as the sheriff of Union County, a position he held until 1926. He served as the Union County court clerk from 1926 to 1934, and was judge of Union County from 1934 to 1941. He also served as a member of the Kentucky State Senate from 1942 to 1945, was the Democratic floor leader in 1944, and served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1945 to 1947. Clements won the 1947 Democratic gubernatorial nomination, was elected governor, and sworn into office on December 9, 1947. During his tenure, the Kentucky state police was formed, the legislative research commission was established, salary maximums of state employees was regulated, a six million dollar capitol annex was built, and the Kentucky building commission was initiated. On November 27, 1950, Clements resigned from the governorship, to take his seat in the U.S. Senate, a position he held until 1957. From 1957 to 1959, he served as the director of the U.S. Senate Democratic Campaign Committee, and in 1960, he became Kentucky’s highway commissioner. He also served as president of the Tobacco Institute, Inc. from 1964 to 1976. Governor Earle C. Clements passed away on March 12, 1985, and was buried at the Morganfield Independence Order of Odd Fellows Cemetery.


Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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.