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Julian Carroll
Official portrait, 1975
Member of the Kentucky Senate
from the 7th district
In office
January 3, 2005 – December 31, 2020
Preceded by Lindy Casebier
Succeeded by Adrienne Southworth
54th Governor of Kentucky
In office
December 28, 1974 – December 11, 1979
Lieutenant Thelma Stovall
Preceded by Wendell Ford
Succeeded by John Y. Brown Jr.
Chair of the National Governors Association
In office
August 29, 1978 – July 10, 1979
Preceded by William Milliken
Succeeded by Otis Bowen
46th Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky
In office
December 7, 1971 – December 28, 1974
Governor Wendell Ford
Preceded by Wendell Ford
Succeeded by Thelma Stovall
Personal details
Julian Morton Carroll

(1931-04-16) April 16, 1931 (age 91)
Paducah, Kentucky, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Charlann Harting
(m. 1951, died)
Children 4
Education Paducah Junior College
University of Kentucky (BA, LLB)
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Branch/service Flag of the United States Air Force United States Air Force

Julian Morton Carroll (born April 16, 1931) is an American lawyer and politician from the state of Kentucky. A Democrat, he served as the 54th Governor of Kentucky from 1974 to 1979, succeeding Wendell H. Ford, who resigned to accept a seat in the U.S. Senate. He was most recently a member of the Kentucky Senate, representing Anderson, Franklin, Woodford, Gallatin and Owen counties. He was the first Kentucky governor from the state's far-western Jackson Purchase region. The lieutenant governor he served with, Thelma Stovall, was the first woman to be elected Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky.

After graduating from the University of Kentucky and spending three years as an Air Force lawyer, Carroll returned to McCracken County, Kentucky where he gained acclaim for leading a campaign to allow the Tennessee Valley Authority to provide low-cost electricity to the county. He was elected to the first of five terms in the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1962 and served as Speaker of that body from 1968 to 1970. He ran for lieutenant governor in 1971 on an informal ticket with former Governor Bert T. Combs. Combs lost in the Democratic primary to Wendell Ford, but Carroll defeated his primary opponents and went on to win the general election. He was elevated to the governorship in December 1974, after Ford unseated Moderate Republican U.S. Sen. Marlow Cook. Carroll won a term as governor in his own right in 1975.

As governor, Carroll increased funding for public education and promoted the use of coal as a means of alleviating the 1973 energy crisis. He also oversaw a major reorganization of the state's judicial system following voters' approval of a constitutional amendment in 1975. Many natural and man-made disasters occurred during his term in office, including the Great Blizzard of 1978 and the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire, leading to better safety practices and stricter law enforcement in the state. When Carroll left office, both he and his predecessor were under the cloud of an investigation for an alleged insurance kickback scheme, but Carroll was not convicted of any wrongdoing. In 2004, he was elected to the Kentucky Senate. Re-elected in 2008 and 2012, he won a fourth term without opposition in 2016. He announced shortly after his 88th birthday that he would not run for re-election in 2020.

Early life

Julian Carroll was born in West Paducah in McCracken County, Kentucky. He was the third of eleven children born to Elvie B. "Buster" and Eva (Heady) Carroll. His father was a tenant farmer, but shortly after the Ohio River flood of 1937, the family moved to Heath in McCracken County, where Buster Carroll sold tractor implements and in 1940 opened an automobile repair shop. Through his early teenage years, Carroll lived with his grandparents to help care for an ailing grandfather.

In 1949, Carroll was selected to represent Heath High School at Kentucky Boys State, a week-long a civic affairs summer camp for high school seniors-to-be. Participants in the camp create a miniature state government based on their state's actual government. At the camp, Carroll was elected governor of the miniature government. The following year, he graduated as salutatorian and student body president of Heath High School.

Carroll began dating Charlann Harting near the end of 1950. In mid-1951, they parted ways to attend college – Harting, whose family was better off financially, at the University of Kentucky and Carroll at nearby Paducah Junior College. After their first year, Carroll and Harting decided to get married. The ceremony took place on July 22, 1951, and the couple eventually had four children – Kenneth, Patrice, Bradley, and Ellyn. Ellyn, born June 27, 1975, was the first child born to a Kentucky First Family while they were residing in the Governor's Mansion.

Carroll earned an Associate in Arts degree from Paducah Junior College in 1952. That summer, the family moved to Lexington where Carroll matriculated to the University of Kentucky. He funded his further education working for the Fayette County Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Office. In 1954, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, and in 1956, he earned a Bachelor of Laws degree.

While in college, Carroll had received training through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. By graduation, he had risen to the rank of Commandant of Cadets, the highest rank of any student at the university. After graduation, he enlisted in the Air Force and was stationed at Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas. For three years, he served as an Air Force attorney, then returned to Paducah and joined the law firm of Reed, Scent, Reed, and Walton. He was active in civic affairs, including membership in the Jaycees and serving as charter president of the Paducah Optimists Club in 1962. He was a frequent lay speaker in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and from 1966 to 1967, served as moderator for the Kentucky Synod.

In January 1960, a group of local businessmen approached Carroll about leading a campaign to allow the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to provide electricity to McCracken County. TVA could provide electricity at a much lower cost, but voters would first have to hold a public referendum on buying out Kentucky Utilities, the private power provider in the area. Carroll agreed to lead the campaign, and nine months later, voters approved the buyout by a three-to-one margin.

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