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James Dixon Black

Gov. James Dixon Black

  • May 19, 1919 - December 9, 1919
  • Democratic
  • September 24, 1849
  • August 4, 1938
  • Kentucky
  • Tusculum College
  • Married Mary Jeanett Pitzer; three children
  • Succeeded


JAMES D. BLACK was born in Knox County, Kentucky on September 24, 1849. His education was attained at Tusculum College in Tennessee, where he earned an A.B. degree in 1872, and a law degree in 1911. In 1874, he was admitted to the bar, and then established a legal practice in Barbourville. Black entered politics in 1876, serving as a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives, a position he held until 1877. He also was the Knox County superintendent of public schools in 1884, was the state’s first assistant attorney general in 1915, and served as lieutenant governor of Kentucky from 1915 to 1919. On May 19, 1919, Governor Augustus O. Stanley resigned from office, and Black, who was lieutenant governor at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. During his tenure, he continued to carry out the policies of the Stanley administration, and he pardoned Henry Youtsey, the last man still in jail for the murder of former Governor Goebel. After running unsuccessfully for his own gubernatorial term, Black left office on December 9, 1919. In 1920, he served as the state’s chief prohibition inspector, was president of the Barbourville National Bank, and in 1938, served as Senator Alben Barkley’s campaign manager. Governor James D. Black passed away on August 4, 1938, and was buried in a mausoleum at the Barbourville Cemetery in Barbourville, Kentucky.


Governors' Papers, Kentucky Department for Libraries & Archives, Public Records Division

The Political Graveyard

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.

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