He's been called Kentucky's collective memory, and is credited with knowing more about the state and its past than anyone.
At 99, Kentucky Historian Laureate Dr. Thomas D. Clark has not only written about the major developments in his adopted home state, he's seen many of them firsthand.
And from his unique perspective as the chronicler of the commonwealth, Clark isn't afraid to speak out when he sees the state's lawmakers repeating mistakes or its industries failing to live up to their potential.
Born in Louisville, Miss., on July 14, 1903, Clark graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1928, obtained his master's degree in history at the University of Kentucky in 1929 and his doctorate from Duke University in 1932. He became chairman of the University of Kentucky history department in 1942.
His books include The Emerging South, The Southern Country Editor and A History of Kentucky, which the Lexington Herald-Leader called, "a watershed text that served the state for more than a half century.''