John Y. Brown Jr
Former Governor of Kentucky, USA
John Y. Brown Jr. was the 55th Governor of Kentucky from 1979-1983. In addition to his public office he has had an extraordinarily successful business career, which started at age 29 with buying Colonel Sander’s “KY Fried Chicken” with a partner and building it into the world’s largest food service company before selling in 1970.
He has received a number of national awards, including from the International Franchise Association, naming him the “Entrepreneur of the Year” and recognized by “Nation’s Restaurant News” with the “Pioneer of the Industry Award”. The Harvard Business School recognized him as one of the “Outstanding Business Leader’s of the Twentieth Century”. It stated that he and Ray Kroc (McDonald’s restaurants) were responsible for building the fast food restaurant industry as it is known today. His focus has been in the fast food field and he is recognized as “The Father of Restaurant Franchising”.
After building a worldwide reputation as a businessman and entrepreneur Brown he successfully became Governor of Kentucky in 1979 in a whirlwind 60-day campaign. Brown maintained his campaign pledge of “Running Government like a Business” and he received national recognition for reducing the size of government by 22% while making Kentucky a leading state in attracting new industry.
Brown also served as President of the American Basketball Association and owner of the “Kentucky Colonels” with his wife. He later became the owner of the NBA Buffalo Braves and the following year swapped them for the legendary Boston Celtics in a unique transaction.
Brown has been active in a number of charitable involvements and has been awarded many national awards such as the National Father of the Year Award; Speaker of the Year (by the National Platform Association); CEO of the Year (by NACORE). He is also co-founder of the Muhammad Ali Center and presently serves as an honorary board member.
He obtained a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Kentucky.