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Judge Thomas A. Ballantine, Jr. Papers

Identifier: 1998_021-ua

The Judge Thomas A. Ballantine, Jr. Collection dates from 1970 to 1992, with bulk dates of 1977 to 1992. Ballantine's papers offer the reader a glimpse into the American legal system through its assortment of "behind-the-scenes" information. In this collection, the researcher will see three aspects to Ballantine's position as a judge - public, political, and business. The smallest part of the collection deals with the public side of his job, represented through actual verdicts and correspondence with the public. The political side comprises the majority of the collection, including anything connected to the political arena, namely political correspondence, various state and federal associations, and conferences and workshops. The third part of his job, the business side, is exemplified through office financial records and legal documents.

The collection is divided into three series, which reflect the three aspects of Ballantine's position. These three series, I - Office Administration, II - Legal Matters, and III - Court Matters, all contain correspondence, printed material, and financial information. The collection totals 4.25 linear feet.


  • 1970-1992


Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in the Judge Thomas A. Ballantine, Jr. Papers have been transferred to the University of Louisville. Additional restrictions may apply.


4.75 linear feet (3 records center boxes and 2 manuscript boxes)

Biographical / Historical

Thomas Austin Ballantine, Jr., was born in Louisville, Kentucky on September 22, 1926. He grew up in the Highlands area of Louisville. He received a B.A. from the University of Kentucky in 1948, a LL.B. from the University of Louisville in 1954, and began practicing law in Louisville. He was married to Nancy Armstrong, an etiquette columnist for the Courier-Journal and they had four children, Thomas A. III, Joseph A., Brigid, and Nancy Adair.

Ballantine followed in the footsteps of his father, civic leader and Democratic Party leader, Thomas A. Ballantine, Sr., by becoming an active Democratic precinct worker. He served as Deputy Commissioner of the Jefferson Circuit Court from 1958-1962. Then in 1962 he was appointed by Governor Bert Combs to fill an unexpired term on the Jefferson Fiscal Court, where he often opposed Republican County Judge Executive Marlow Cook. He was appointed to the Jefferson Circuit Court by Governor Edward Breathitt in 1964, serving until 1977. President Jimmy Carter appointed Ballantine United States District Judge for the Western District of Kentucky in October 1977, and he became Chief Judge in September 1990.

Ballantine was diagnosed with lung cancer in June 1991 and his failing health forced him to take senior status (semi-retirement) in November of that year. He died on February 18, 1992 at his home.

Judge Thomas A. Ballantine, Jr. Papers
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections Repository

Ekstrom Library, Lower Level Room 17
Louisville KY 40292
502 852-6752