ROBERT J. KENNON was born near Minden, Louisiana on August 12, 1902. His education was attained at Louisiana State University, where he earned an undergraduate degree in 1923 and a law degree in 1925. Kennon entered politics in 1925, serving as mayor of Minden, a position he held for three years. He also served as the Bossler-Webster district attorney from 1930 to 1940, was judge of the Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeals in 1942, and served as an associate justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court from 1945 to 1947. During World War II, he served as captain of the National Guard Company. He later attained the rank of lieutenant colonel and served overseas with the XIII Corps, Ninth Army. Kennon won the 1952 Democratic gubernatorial nomination and was elected governor by popular vote on April 22, 1952. He was sworn into office on May 13, 1952. During his tenure, the state civil service system was reinstated, voting machines were implemented in all precincts, state public welfare rolls were made accessible, and prison reform legislation was approved. Kennon was a proponent of public school segregation and continued to endorse it even after the U.S. Supreme Court determined that it was unconstitutional. After completing his term, Kennon left office on May 8, 1956. He retired from politics after running unsuccessfully for reelection in 1963. Governor Robert F. Kennon passed away on January 11, 1988 in Baton Rouge.
Dawson III, Joseph G. The Louisiana Governors: From Iberville to Edwards. Baton Rouge: Lousiana State University Press, 1990.
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.