Biographical / Historical
Edwin Gheens Middleton was born in Louisville, Kentucky on June 11, 1920 to Charles G. Middleton and Anita (Gheens) Middleton. Edwin married Mary Jane Lampton on July 11, 1942 and they had three children: Edwin, Anita, and Huntley.
Middleton graduated from Woodberry Forest School in 1938. He received his B.A. from the University of Virginia in 1941. Edwin Middleton was a member of the United States Marine Corps from 1941 to 1946. He rose from private to major during his tenure and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal as well as a Purple Heart. Middleton received his LL.B. from the University of Louisville in 1948. He was admitted to the Kentucky Bar in 1948 and became a partner in his father’s firm, Middleton, Seelbach, Wolford, Willis, and Cochran. This law firm later became known as Middleton, Reutlinger, and Baird.
Throughout his life, Edwin Middleton was heavily involved in local organizations such as the American Life and Accident Company (director and general counsel), Louisville Title Insurance Company (director), the Mengel Company (director), and Louisville Park Theatrical Association (secretary, 1956-1958). Middleton was a member of a variety of educational boards. He was a trustee for the board of the Louisville and Jefferson County Children’s Home from 1953-1966 and served as chairman of the board from 1957-1960. He served as both a trustee and secretary for the board of Louisville Country Day School and was a trustee for Louisville Collegiate School.
A major aspect of Middleton’s life was his involvement in politics especially the Republican Party. Some of the organizations he worked with were the Executive Committee for the Louisville and Jefferson County Republican Party (chairman, 1958-1963), Citizens for Eisenhower (finance chairman, 1952), Republican National Convention (delegate, 1964), Kentucky Republican Convention (chairman, 1964), and Republican National Committee (chairman, 1965).
Edwin Middleton is also known for his association with the University of Louisville, his alma mater. He served as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1964-1974 and operated as chairman from 1979-1974. His tenure at U of L was instrumental in the overall history of the institution due to the fact that the university entered the state system of higher education in 1970. In addition to the Board of Trustees, Middle also served as the chairman of the presidential search committee in 1972, was a member of the board for the University of Louisville Foundation from 1970-1971 and 1972-1973, served as a member of the Finance Committee for the Ford Foundation Medical School Endowment Fund, and acted as representative on the Board of Directors for the University of Louisville Medical Center in 1970.
Middleton was awarded the Distinguished Service Award for his time as a member of the Board of the Trustees. He also was honored by the dedication of the Edwin Gheens Middleton Theatre in Strickler Hall, May 1975. Edwin Middleton died on December 8, 1980 at the age of 60.