Jerry Abramson: Wikis


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Jerry Abramson

Jerry Abramson
Born September 12, 1946 (1946-09-12) (age 63)
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.A.
Residence Crescent Hill, Louisville, Kentucky
Occupation Attorney, politician
Title Mayor of Louisville
Term 1986-1999, 2003-
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Madeline

Jerry Edwin Abramson (born September 12, 1946) is a Democratic politician who is the longest serving Mayor of Louisville, Kentucky. Before his current term as the Metro Mayor of the merged city-county government Louisville Metro (a merger he championed), Abramson was the only person to have served three terms as Mayor of Louisville, fulfilling the allowed term limit. Abramson's original third term was extended by one year as part of a state-mandated transition to align the dates of local and federal elections.

Abramson's long period of service to Louisville as its mayor, as well as the fact that Abramson has never faced strong opposition in mayoral elections heretofore, has led to the nickname of "mayor for life" being used locally, including by Louisville's own popular radio personality Terry Meiners. Abramson's popularity has resulted in Bluegrass Poll approval ratings ranging from a 91 percent high in 1990 to a 73 percent low in 1994.[1]

From 1993 to 1994, he was President of the United States Conference of Mayors. He is currently a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition,[2] an organization formed in 2006 and co-chaired by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston mayor Thomas Menino.

On July 19, 2009, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear announced that Abramson will be running for Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky on his ticket in 2011.[3]


Early life

Abramson grew up in the Louisville suburb of Strathmoor Village, Kentucky.[4] Before serving as a mayor in two different forms of government of Louisville he worked at Abramson's Market at 738 South Preston Street[4] in Louisville's Smoketown neighborhood, then owned by his father Roy and founded by his grandparents. He graduated from Seneca High School and served for two years in the Army, but did not see combat.

While a student at Indiana University Bloomington, Abramson became active in politics by volunteering for Robert F. Kennedy's 1968 campaign for president. After graduating from IU, Abramson attended Georgetown University Law School.[4]

Abramson practiced law with Greenebaum Doll & McDonald, PLLC. Before his first run for mayor, Abramson also served as alderman for two terms and as general counsel to governor John Y. Brown, Jr.[4]

Mayor of Louisville

Abramson's tenure as mayor from 1985 to 1998 was marked by high popularity as Louisville's economy grew and the decline in urban population that began in the 1950s slowed greatly. Abramson began the nonprofit civic beautification program Operation Brightside, led the $700 million expansion of Louisville International Airport, revitalized the city’s waterfront with the creation of Waterfront Park and expanded the local economy by recruiting the international headquarters for Tricon Global Restaurants (known as Yum! Brands, Inc. today), Presbyterian Church (USA) and UPS Air Hub 2000.

Subsequent to his first tenure as mayor, Abramson practiced law with the Frost Brown Todd LLC firm and taught at Bellarmine University.[5]

Metro Mayor

After the merger of Louisville and Jefferson County was approved, the previous term limits no longer applied. Abramson was easily elected Louisville's first Metro Mayor in 2002 by 73.4 percent of the vote over Republican challenger Jack Early, former mayor of Hurstbourne, Kentucky, a major suburb of Louisville.[6]

One of Abramson's first actions as Metro Mayor was to appoint Robert C. White Chief of the troubled Louisville Metro Police Department, the first African-American to hold the post. The move proved to be politically wise, helping to calm criticism of the department from the black community in Louisville.[7]

Abramson was re-elected mayor in November 2006; his opponent was Metro Council member Kelly Downard (R).[8]

Abramson is the first person of Jewish faith to have served as mayor of Louisville. He lives in the Crescent Hill neighborhood with his wife, Madeline.[4]

Kentucky Monthly magazine's readers voted Abramson "Kentucky's Best" civic figure five times (2002-2006).

Statewide elections

On July 19, 2009, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear announced that Abramson would step down after his second term as Mayor of Louisville Metro to become his Lieutenant Governor running mate in his re-election campaign in 2011. This comes after Dan Mongiardo decided to run for U.S. Senate. Since Abramson's planned departure was announced, many candidates have announced that they will run to succeed him in 2010.[3]

See also


  1. ^ Gerth, Joseph (2005-02-18). "The Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll; Mayor, council get good job review". Courier-Journal. pp. 1A.  
  2. ^ "Mayors Against Illegal Guns: Coalition Members". Archived from the original on 2008-01-18. Retrieved June 12, 2007.  
  3. ^ a b Gerth, Joseph (2009-07-19). "Abramson to be Beshear's running mate in 2011". The Courier-Journal.,+2009&author=Joseph+Gerth&pub=Courier+-+Journal&edition=&startpage=n/a&desc=Abramson+to+be+Beshear's+running+mate+in+2011. Retrieved 2009-07-20.  
  4. ^ a b c d e Gerth, Joseph (2006-10-22). "Friends turn foes for mayoral campaign". Louisville, Kentucky: The Courier-Journal. p. 1A.  
  5. ^ Rodriguez, Nancy (2002-10-27). "Louisville/Jefferson County Mayor; Abramson looks toward biggest career challenge". The Courier-Journal.  
  6. ^ Rodriguez, Nancy (2002-11-06). "ELECTION 2002; Abramson wins easily, eyes future". The Courier-Journal.  
  7. ^ Gerth, Joseph (2002-12-19). "White named police chief". The Courier-Journal.  
  8. ^ Gerth, Joseph (2006-11-07). "Abramson claims victory". The Courier-Journal.  

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Harvey I. Sloane
Mayor of Louisville, Kentucky
January 1, 1986–January 1, 1999
Succeeded by
David L. Armstrong
Preceded by
New office
Mayor of Louisville Metro
January 5, 2003–Present
Succeeded by


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