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1990 Recipient - Mr. William T. Young

Horseman, Philanthropist, and Civic Leader

William T. Young was born February 15, 1918 in Lexington, Kentucky and was educated in Lexington's public schools and at the University of Kentucky. He graduated with distinction from U.K. with a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering. He served in World War II as a Major in the Ordnance Department. Mr. Young was internationally recognized for his corporate, horse, and philanthropic achievements.

Mr. Young's first business enterprise, founded as W. T. Young, LLC in 1958, was comprised of general warehousing and trucking companies, and led to the present-day JIF Peanut Butter. His Overbrook Farm is a world-premier farm for horse breeding and racing.

Mr. Young's directorships included:

  • Transylvania University, Chairman of the Board of Trustees
  • Shakertown at Pleasant Hill Kentucky, Inc., Chairman of the Board
  • Lexington Opera House Fund, Inc., Chairman of the Board
  • Churchill Downs Incorporated
  • Triangle Foundation, Inc.
  • The Breeders' Cup Limited
  • Royal Crown Cola Company, Chairman of the Board
  • University of Kentucky, Trustee
  • Lexington Center Corporation
  • Lexington Cemetery, Chairman of the Board
  • Kentucky-American Water Company
  • J.B. Speed Art Museum
  • Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation
  • Humana Inc.
  • Galen Health Care, Inc.
  • First Security National Bank & Trust Company
  • Kentucky River Coal Corporation
  • Reynolds Metals Company
  • The Hardaway Company
  • Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, Inc.
  • The Jockey Club
  • Kentucky Economic Development Corporation, Chairman of the Board

Among the list of his awards are:

  • Optimist Cup, 1970
  • Honorary Doctorate Degree, Transylvania University, 1975
  • Businessman of the Year, Lexington Fire Department, Fraternal Order of Firemen and the Jaycees
  • Bluegrass Business Hall of Fame Laureate, Junior Achievement, 1989
  • Hellenic Ideals Award, 1990
  • Honorary Doctorate Degree, University of Kentucky, 1993
  • Outstanding Alumnus of Kentucky, Kentucky Advocates for Higher Education, 1993
  • Eclipse Awards 1994 for Breeder of the Year for two-year-old champion filly Flanders, and for two-year-old champion colt Timber Country
  • Eclipse Award 1995 for two-year-old champion filly Golden Attraction
  • Eclipse Award 1996 for two-year-old champion colt Boston Harbor
  • Eclipse Award 2000 for three-year-old champion filly Surfside

Mr. Young's life affected the lives of many other Central Kentuckians. Yet, the degree of his anonymity is astonishing in comparison to his achievements, leadership, and generosity.