Family and friends gather to remember Governor John Y. Brown Jr.

Friends and family remembered the colorful life of the former Kentucky governor as the public was invited to witness him lying in state in the capitol rotunda.
Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 7:02 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Friends and family remembered the colorful life of former Kentucky governor John Y. Brown Jr. as the public was invited to witness the former governor lying in state in the capitol rotunda.

“I just keep thinking, man he would love this right now,” Pamela Brown, Brown’s daughter and CNN anchor said. “There is just an outpouring of love for my dad, people he touched over the last several decades. And my dad had such pride in Kentucky and it gives me so much pride to see all these Kentuckians honoring him.”

Brown was a one-term governor elected to office in 1979. He is described as a maverick who introduced Kentucky Fried Chicken and Colonel Sanders to the world.

He owned the ABA champion Kentucky Colonels and later the Boston Celtics. He was married to broadcaster Phyllis George who served as Kentucky’s first lady.

And as governor, Brown is remembered for bringing a business style of management to the office.

“It’s an end of an era,” Frankfort attorney Anna Whites said. “I realize that the governor left family and children and grandchildren to carry on his legacy, but I’m old enough to remember when he was active in politics and going around the Commonwealth and shaking people’s hands and just being so engaged in the common person’s life and I miss that in Kentucky politics.”

Visitors on Tuesday included contemporaries of Brown and current office holders, both complimenting the former governor.

“Remarkable,” former state senator Nick Baker said. “It was remarkable because there were no scandals, no corruption of any kind.”

“I think that Governor Brown also has a legacy of bringing people together representing iconic brands like Kentucky Fried Chicken,” Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said. “He was a really big sports fan as well.  He got UK and UofL to play each other in the Governor’s Cup.”

A private memorial service is scheduled for Brown on Wednesday.

The service can be viewed on KET.