Gov. Louie B. Nunn
(Inducted in 2001)
When elected governor of Kentucky in 1967, Louie B. Nunn became the first Republican to achieve that milestone in 20 years. It was just another in a string of accomplishments for the Barren County native.
Nunn was born in 1924 to parents who were farmers and general store operators. He attended Bowling Green Business University and the University of Cincinnati before earning a law degree from the University of Louisville in 1950. He began his law practice in Glasgow.
In 1953, Nunn became the first Republican to be elected to county-wide office in Barren County when he was elected Barren County judge. He was active in the party, serving as the state campaign chair for President Dwight D. Eisenhower and for the senatorial campaigns of John Sherman Cooper and Thruston B. Morton. He made an unsuccessful run for governor in 1963, falling by some 13,000 votes.
Nunn's term was marked by major increases in fund for education at all levels, the completion of the Kentucky Educational Television Network, the formulation of special education plans for exceptional children and raising teachers salaries. State-supported higher education institutions also increased with the opening of Northern Kentucky State College (now Northern Kentucky University) and the addition of the University of Louisville to the state system.
Nunn also expanded the state's park system with the creation of Barren River Lake State Resort Park and the doubling accommodations in the state system. Three more parks were planned and funding committed during his administration.
After his term as governor, Nunn remained active, serving leadership roles on various boards. He served as chair of the Board of Trustees at the University of Kentucky, Morehead State University and Kentucky State University. He has also served as a distinguished lecturer of government at Western and received the 1999 University of Louisville Distinguished Alumni award.
He was married to the late Beula Cornelius Aspley and they have two children, Stephen Nunn and Jennie Lou Penn.