James Fleming Gordon

Senior Judge, Western District of Kentucky, 1965-d.1990

James Fleming Gordon served as a judge for the Western District of Kentucky from 1965 to 1990. Gordon was born in Madisonville, Kentucky on May 18, 1918. He received his law degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1941. He practiced law in Madisonville for nearly one year before joining the US Army to serve in World War II. After the War, he returned to private practice in Madisonville until 1965. During these two decades, Gordon was active in state and local politics, serving as campaign chairman for the Kentucky Democratic Party in 1955, chairman of the Kentucky Public Service Commission from 1956 to 1960, and as special counsel for Governor Edward T. Breathitt from 1964 to 1965. On June 24, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated Gordon to serve as a judge for the Western District Court, to a seat vacated by Judge Roy M. Shelbourne. The Senate confirmed his nomination on July 23, 1965. While Judge, Gordon served as the speakers chairman for the Kentucky Democratic Party in 1966. Gordon assumed senior status on January 1, 1976 and remained in that capacity until his death on February 9, 1990.

Oral Histories

  • Gordon, James Fleming. March 12, 1980, Civil Rights in Kentucky Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

  • "Oral History." Interviews conducted between June 22 and August 14, 1987, by Ethel S. White. University Archives and Records Center, University of Louisville, Kentucky, 1987.