Wendell Hampton Ford was an American politician from the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Ford was the 53rd Governor of Kentucky and was the first person to be successively elected lieutenant governor, governor and United States senator in Kentucky history. Ford served for twenty-four years in the U.S. Senate. He was considered the leader of the state’s Democratic Party.
About Wendell Ford in brief
Wendell Hampton Ford was an American politician from the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He served for twenty-four years in the U.S. Senate. Ford was the 53rd Governor of Kentucky and was the first person to be successively elected lieutenant governor, governor and United States senator in Kentucky history. He was considered the leader of the state’s Democratic Party from his election to governor in 1971 until his retirement from the Senate in 1999. He is the most recent Democrat to have served as a Senator from the state of Kentucky, and the longest-serving senator in state history until Mitch McConnell in 2009. Ford received the American Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal and earned the Expert Infantryman Badge and Good Conduct Medal. He married Jean Neel of Owensboro on September 18, 1943, and had two children, Shirley Dexter and Steven Ford. His father was a state senator and ally of Kentucky Governor Earle C. Clements. Ford served as the first Kentuckian to serve as president of the Jaycees in 1954. He also served in the Kentucky Army National Guard and was a youth chairman of Bert T. Combs’ gubernatorial campaign in 1959. In 1963, Ford was transferred to the inactive Kentucky National Guard, before being discharged in 1962. After the war, Ford returned home to work with his father in the family insurance business, and graduated from the Maryland School of Insurance in 1947. On August 7, 1949, he enlisted in theKentucky National Guard.
In 1949, Ford’s company was converted from infantry to tanks, and he was a Commander in 240th Tank Battalion. In 1954, he was promoted to First Lieutenant of First Armor Armor. In 1959, he served as Combs’ executive assistant to his mother, Jaycee Combs, and in 1963, he became the firstKentucky resident to serve in the Kentuckians’ first National Guard Battalion. He retired from the National Guard in 1962, and was very active in civic affairs, becoming the first Kentuckian to serve as President of theKentuckians’ First National Guard Board. In 1994, Ford considered running for floor leader in 1994 before throwing his support to Connecticut’s Christopher Dodd. In 1998, Ford became the Democratic whip in the Senate. In 1999, Ford retired and returned to Owensboro, where he taught politics to youth at the Owensboro Museum of Science and History. He died on September 8, 2013. He had a son, Steven Ford, who was born in 1954 and a daughter Shirley Dexter, born in 1950 and son Steven Ford was born on September 7, 1954. Ford is the son of Ernest M. Ford and Irene Woolfork Ford. He attended the University of Kentucky in Daviess County, Kentucky. In 1944, Ford left the university to join the army, enlisting for service in World War Two on July 22, 1944. In 1945, he received the. World War I Victory Medal. In 1946, Ford served in Company I of the 149th Regimental Combat Team in Owensboro and was assigned to Company I.