RUBY LAFFOON was born in Madisonville, Kentucky on January 15, 1869. His early education was attained in both the public and private schools of his native state. He attended Columbia Law School for a while, but earned his law degree from Washington and Lee University in 1890. After establishing his legal career in Madisonville, Laffoon entered into politics. He ran for state treasurer in 1907 and for state auditor in 1911, but was unsuccessful in both races. In 1912, he secured an appointment as chairman of the first State Insurance Rating Board. He also served on the bench of the Hopkins Circuit Court from 1921 to 1931. Laffoon won the 1931 Democratic gubernatorial nomination, was elected governor, and sworn into office on December 8, 1931. During his tenure, a governmental reorganization bill was sanctioned, a new school code was implemented, 560 pardons were granted to relieve prison crowding, and a record number of Kentucky colonels were commissioned. After leaving office on December 10, 1935, Laffoon returned to his Madisonville legal practice. He served as a member of the Democratic National Committee in 1936, and was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1940. Governor Ruby Laffoon passed away on March 1, 1941, and was buried at the Grapevine Cemetery in Madisonville, Kentucky.
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.