Combs, Bert T., 1911-1991

Alternative names
Birth 1911-08-13
Death 1991-12-04

Biographical notes:

Governor of Kentucky, Judge, Lawyer

Bert T. Combs was born in Clay County, Kentucky in 1911. He attended Cumberland College, and he graduated from the University of Kentucky Law School in 1937. After graduating with his law degree and serving in World War II, Combs began his rise in politics. Serving as judge on the Kentucky Court of Appeals, Combs ran unsuccessfully for the governor's office in 1955. His attempt at the state's helm four years later made him Kentucky's 46th governor. Under his leadership, the state legislature enacted a three percent sales tax, which made possible many of the programs initiated during his administration. New roads such as the Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway, the creation of the UK Community College system and aid to education are some of the areas associated with his tenure as governor. Following his term as governor, Combs served as judge on the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals from 1967 to 1971. A member of the law firm Wyatt, Tarrant and Combs, the former governor and judge became the lead counsel for the lawsuit that culminated in the Kentucky Supreme Court ruling the state's system of funding public education unconstitutional. The court decision led to the passage of the Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1990. Bert Combs died in 1991.

From the description of Bert T. Combs Collection, 1959-1990. (University of Kentucky Libraries). WorldCat record id: 71260015


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  • Governor
  • Political Campaigns
  • Advertising, political
  • Politicians--Correspondence
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  • Kentucky (as recorded)