Ruby Laffoon was the 43rd Governor of Kentucky from 1931 to 1935. Dubbed \”the terrible Turk from Madisonville,\” he advocated the enactment of the state’s first sales tax. He appointed a record number of Kentucky colonels, including Harland Sanders, who used the title Colonel when he opened his chain of Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants. He died of a stroke in 1941.
About Ruby Laffoon in brief
Ruby Laffoon was the 43rd Governor of Kentucky from 1931 to 1935. He was the only Kentucky gubernatorial candidate to be chosen by a convention after 1903. Dubbed \”the terrible Turk from Madisonville,\” he advocated the enactment of the state’s first sales tax. He appointed a record number of Kentucky colonels, including Harland Sanders, who used the title Colonel when he opened his chain of Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants. He died of a stroke in 1941. His grandfather, John Bledsoe Laffoons, Sr., migrated to Kentucky from South Carolina in 1815 and served one term in the Kentucky House of Representatives. His father, John, Jr., served several terms as a deputy sheriff in Hopkins County and one term as county assessor. His uncle, U.S. Rep. Polk LAffoon, served two terms in the United States House of Representative. He moved to Washington, D. C. at age 17 to live with his uncle. He developed an interest in politics and returned to Kentucky, where he compiled a mixed record of victories and defeats in elections at the county and state levels. In 1931, he was chosen as the Democratic gubernatorial nominee by a nominating convention, not a primary. In the general election, he defeated Republican William B. Harrison by what was then the largest margin of victory in Kentucky gubernatorial history. His feud with Lieutenant Governor A. B. Chandler continued throughout his term and affected the 1935 gubernatorial race.
He supported political boss Tom Rhea to succeed him as governor, and convinced the Democrats to again hold a nominating Convention to choose their gubernatorial nominee. This would have greatly improved his chances of hand-picking his successor. He chose the name \”Ruby\” after John Edwin Ruby, a local businessman whose grocery store he frequently visited. His parents could not decide on a name for their new child, and for several years, referred to him only as \”Bud\”. When he was a young child, he named his daughter Susan Isabella L affoon, who was only 16 years old. In 1886 he served as a messenger in C.B. O’Bryan County, Kentucky. By age 17 he was teaching in the common schools of Charleston County. By the age of 17, he had become a farmer and sent him to the private school of W’Bryan C. O. O’bryan. He later became a judge in Charleston County and served as the Judge Raffoon of Hopkins County. He also served in the C.C. Court of Appeals as a judge of C.R. R. C., a position he held until his death in 1942. He had a son, John Laffon, who became a lawyer and later a judge at the University of Kentucky. He is survived by his wife, Martha Henrietta, and a son-in-law, Robert Laffan, a former Kentucky state senator and a former state senator. He served as mayor of Madisonville.