Steve Beshear

Steve Beshear
Steve Beshear by Gage Skidmore.jpg
61st Governor of Kentucky
In office
December 11, 2007 – December 8, 2015
LieutenantDaniel Mongiardo
Jerry Abramson
Crit Luallen
Preceded byErnie Fletcher
Succeeded byMatt Bevin
49th Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky
In office
December 13, 1983 – December 8, 1987
GovernorMartha Layne Collins
Preceded byMartha Layne Collins
Succeeded byBrereton Jones
Attorney General of Kentucky
In office
December 11, 1979 – December 13, 1983
Acting: December 11, 1979 – January 7, 1980
GovernorJohn Y. Brown Jr.
Preceded byRobert F. Stephens
Succeeded byDavid L. Armstrong
Member of the Kentucky House of Representatives
from the 76th district
In office
January 3, 1974 – January 3, 1980
Preceded byBart Peak
Succeeded byJerry Lundergan
Personal details
Born
Steven Lynn Beshear

(1944-09-21) September 21, 1944 (age 74)
Dawson Springs, Kentucky, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)
Jane Klingner (m. 1969)
Children2 (including Andy)
EducationUniversity of Kentucky (BA, JD)
OccupationAttorney
Military service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
UnitUnited States Army Reserve
Battles/warsVietnam War

Steven Lynn Beshear (born September 21, 1944) is an American attorney and politician who served as the 61st governor of Kentucky from 2007 to 2015. He served in the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1974 to 1980, was the state's 44th Attorney General from 1980 to 1983, and was the 49th lieutenant governor from 1983 to 1987.

After graduating from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1968, Beshear briefly practiced law in New York before returning to Kentucky and being elected to the state legislature, where he gained a reputation as a consumer advocate. He parlayed that reputation into a term as attorney general, serving under Governor John Y. Brown, Jr. As attorney general, Beshear issued an opinion that copies of the Ten Commandments would have to be removed from the walls of the state's classrooms in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Stone v. Graham. He also clashed with first lady Phyllis George Brown when he opposed the practice of charging an admission fee for visitors to view the renovated governor's mansion. In 1983, Beshear was elected lieutenant governor in the administration of Governor Martha Layne Collins. His most significant action in this capacity was the formation of the Kentucky Tomorrow Commission, a panel charged with making recommendations for the future of the state.

Beshear's initial rise to political prominence was interrupted in 1987 when he finished third in a five-candidate Democratic gubernatorial primary election. The Beshear campaign's sparring with that of former Governor Brown, the second-place finisher in the primary, opened the door for political novice Wallace Wilkinson's well-financed campaign to achieve a come-from-behind upset in the race. For the next 20 years, Beshear practiced law at a Lexington law firm. His only foray into politics during this period was an unsuccessful challenge to Senator Mitch McConnell in 1996. In 2007, however, Beshear was drawn back into politics by the vulnerability of incumbent Republican Governor Ernie Fletcher, whose administration was under extended investigation by then-Attorney General Greg Stumbo, over violations of the state's merit system. In the 2007 gubernatorial election, Beshear emerged from a six-candidate Democratic primary – largely on the strength of his pledge to expand casino gambling as a means of further funding social programs like education – and defeated Fletcher in the general election. Beshear won re-election in 2011, defeating Republican David L. Williams and Independent Gatewood Galbraith. He was ineligible for re-election in 2015 due to term limits imposed by the Kentucky Constitution.

Early life

Steve Beshear was born on September 21, 1944 in Hopkins County, Kentucky.[1] He is the third of five children born to Orlando Russell and Mary Elizabeth (Joiner) Beshear.[1] He was raised in the small town of Dawson Springs, where his father owned a furniture store, operated a funeral home, and served as mayor.[2] His father, grandfather, and uncle were all Primitive Baptist lay ministers, and in his childhood years, Beshear attended both his father's church and the Christian Church where his mother was a member.[3] Beshear also accompanied his uncle, Fred Beshear, as he traveled around the county during several races for a seat in the state House of Representatives.[1]

Beshear graduated as valedictorian in a class of 28 at Dawson Springs High School in 1962.[2] He then attended the University of Kentucky where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history in 1966.[2] He was a member of the Delta Tau Delta social fraternity and the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.[2][4] He was also elected student body treasurer and from 1964 to 1965 served as student body president.[2] While in college, he attended Lexington Primitive Baptist Church and often had lunch at the home of Harold and Marie Fletcher, whose son Ernie he would eventually challenge for the governorship of Kentucky.[3] In 1968, Beshear graduated with honors from the University of Kentucky College of Law.[2]

The next year, he married Jane Klingner.[1] After the marriage, Beshear joined the Crestwood Christian Church which his wife attended.[3] The couple have two sons, Jeffery Scott Beshear and Andrew Graham Beshear, two grandsons, and one granddaughter.[1][5] Following their marriage, the Beshears moved to New York City, where Steve worked for the Wall Street law firm of White & Case.[6] He also served as an intelligence specialist in the United States Army Reserve, performing some of the duties of a Judge Advocate General.[7][8]

Other Languages
العربية: ستيف باشير
bosanski: Steve Beshear
català: Steve Beshear
Deutsch: Steve Beshear
Ελληνικά: Στιβ Μπεσίρ
español: Steve Beshear
Esperanto: Steve Beshear
français: Steve Beshear
italiano: Steve Beshear
Nederlands: Steve Beshear
português: Steve Beshear
русский: Бэшер, Стив
Simple English: Steve Beshear
svenska: Steve Beshear
українська: Стів Бешеар
Tiếng Việt: Steve Beshear