Saturday, October 11, 2003

Former Ky. Gov. Breathitt collapses

The Associated Press

LEXINGTON - Former Kentucky Gov. Edward T. "Ned" Breathitt collapsed during a speech Friday night at the University of Kentucky, a university spokesman said.

Breathitt, 78, collapsed at about 7:40 p.m. while delivering a speech at a Lexington Community College volunteers appreciation dinner, university spokesman Ralph Derickson said.

He was taken to the UK Medical Center. Derickson said he did not have the family's permission to release Breathitt's condition.

The dinner was held on the UK campus at the E.S. Good Barn, Derickson said.

Breathitt, a Democrat, was governor from 1963 to 1967.

He was governor when Kentucky became the first Southern state to enact a civil rights law, and racial harmony was a theme of his inaugural speech on Dec. 10, 1963.

He called on Kentuckians to be "first in nobility of spirit, first in their determination to cast away hate, bigotry and prejudice."

Breathitt is a former chairman of the UK board of trustees and served on the Council on Higher Education and the governing boards of Morehead State University and Kentucky State University.

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