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Wendell Hampton Ford

Gov. Wendell Hampton Ford

  • December 7, 1971 - December 28, 1974
  • Democratic
  • September 8, 1924
  • January 22, 2015
  • Kentucky
  • University of Kentucky, Maryland School of Insurance
  • Married Jean Neal; two children
  • Senator


WENDELL HAMPTON FORD was born near Owensboro, Kentucky on September 8, 1924. He attended the public schools of Daviess County, attended the University of Kentucky from 1942-1943; and graduated from the Maryland School of Insurance in 1947. He then engaged in insurance business in Kentucky. Ford served in the U.S. Army from 1944 to 1946 and in the Kentucky National Guard from 1949 to 1962. He served as chief assistant to the Kentucky Governor from 1959 to 1961; was a state senator from 1965 to 1967, and lieutenant governor from 1967 until 1971. He was elected Governor of Kentucky in 1970. Ford served on the Executive Committee of the National Conference of Lieutenant Governors (1970-71) and chaired the Democratic Governors’ Conference (1973-74). In November 1974, Governor Ford was elected to the U.S. Senate for the term commencing January 3, 1975; however, he was appointed by the governor on December 28, 1974, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Marlow W. Cook for the term ending January 3, 1975. Ford was reelected in 1980, 1986, and 1992. During his tenure in the Senate, Ford served as Democratic Whip from 1991 to 1999, and he served on the Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Select Committee to Study the Committee System, Committee on Rules and Administration, and the Joint Committee on Printing.


Governors of the American States, Commonwealths and Territories, National Governors’ Association, 1973.

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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