(RoyalPatriot.com )- The 55th governor of Kentucky, John Y. Brown Jr., had passed away last week at the age of 88. The Democrat served his state from 1979 to 1983, according to Just the News. He was the son of a U.S. representative and was reportedly married to former Miss America Phyllis George during that time.
But Brown’s life was just as impactful outside the governorship as it was while he was in office, as he was part of the group that purchased one of America’s leading fast-food chains, almost two decades earlier. The purchase was fitting for a soon-to-be Kentucky governor.
In the 1960s, Brown was part of an investment group that purchased Kentucky Fired Chicken from Colonel Harland Sanders for $2 million, which today would be just over $20 million. The company grew into an international behemoth and sold for $285 million just seven years after its acquisition.
Brown’s life before politics did not stop at acquiring fast food chains. At various times, he also owned three different basketball teams, the American Basketball Association’s Kentucky Colonels, and the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Boston Celtics and Buffalo Braves (now the Los Angeles Clippers).
“Gov. Brown was a remarkable leader who was committed to serving the people of Kentucky,” Democratic Governor Andy Beshear said in a statement following Brown’s death, adding that Brown made the “commonwealth a better place.”
The former governor’s family issued a statement through the current governor’s office, which described Brown as someone who both lived and “dreamed the impossible dream” until the end of his days. They say that he had a positive attitude and spirit for life, with every day an “exciting adventure.”
“He was a true Kentucky original who beamed with pride for his home state and its people,” the statement read.
Brown only served for one term as governor because at that time one could not seek re-election in the state. Though did seek the governorship once again in 1987, he reportedly lost in a seven-way primary to eventual Governor Wallace Wilkinson.