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Sam B. Thomas, Sr.
Kentucky State Representative from District 24 (Marion and LaRue counties)

In office
January 1972 – December 1986
Personal details
Born (1925-04-29)April 29, 1925
Marion County, Kentucky, USA
Died October 19, 2007(2007-10-19) (aged 82)
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Marian Tong Thomas (married ca. 1955-2007, his death)
Children Sam B. Thomas, Jr.

James Douglas Thomas
Karen T. Lentz
Patti T. Smith

Parents Francis X. and Mary Isabelle Hill Thomas
Residence Lebanon, Marion County
Occupation Educator; Coach; Lobbyist

Sam B. Thomas, Sr. (January 1, 1925 – October 19, 2007),[1] was a Kentucky educator who served from January 1972 until December 1986 as a Democratic member of the Kentucky House of Representatives from Lebanon, the seat of Marion County.[2]


He was born in Marion County, Kentucky as one of four children of Francis Xavier Thomas I and Mary Isabelle Hill. His siblings were Sue Clements Thomas, Sadie Thomas Smith, and Francis Xavier Thomas II. Thomas married Marian Tong (born ca. 1933) of Lebanon. Two sons and two daughters were born to the marriage: Sam B. Thomas, Jr., Douglas P. Thomas, Karen T. Lentz, and Patti T. Smith.[3] Thomas graduated from Roman Catholic St. Augustine High School in Lebanon and then the University of Kentucky at Lexington. In addition to his classroom duties, Thomas was a basketball coach at Saint Francis High School in Loretto in Marion County. He coached football and baseball at St. Charles Middle School in Lebanon. He also coached the Babe Ruth community league in Lebanon.[3]

Thomas served in the United States Army's 24th Infantry Division during and after World War II. As part of the post-War occupation of Japan the 24th Infantry Division was based at Sendai, Japan. While there, Thomas coached the basketball team in his camp, winning runners-up status in the Far East Command Olympic Games trial competition.[3]

On November 4, 1969, Thomas lost the general election for the District 29 seat in the Kentucky House to the Republican Herman W. Rattliff (born 1926), a businessman from Campbellsville, the seat of Taylor County in central Kentucky.[2]

After redistricting, Thomas won the revised District 24 seat, including Marion and LaRue counties, in the general election held on November 2, 1971. Rattliff, a native of Green County, won a third term that year in District 51. Thomas and Rattliff were thereafter House colleagues until each retired at the same time.[2]

During his legislative service, he was the chairman for eight years of the Business Organizations and Professions Committee. After his seventeen legislative years, Thomas spent another eighteen years as a lobbyist at the Kentucky state capital in Frankfort.[3] Among his clients were Wine and Spirits Wholesales of Kentucky, Inc., of Louisville.[4] Thomas died at age 82.


  1. "Social Security Death Index". Retrieved July 4, 2009. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Membership of Kentucky General Assembly, 1900-2004". Kentucky. Retrieved May 19, 2009. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "A Resolution adjourning the Senate in loving memory and honor of Samuel B. Thomas" (doc). Kentucky. July 4, 2009. Retrieved July 5, 2009. "Samuel B. Thomas was born on January 1, 1925, in Marion County, Kentucky, and departed this world on October 19, 2007. He was the son of Francis X. and Mary Isabelle Hill Thomas and the brother of Sue Clements. He was predeceased by a sister, Sadie Thomas Smith, and a brother, Frank X. Thomas. He was the loving husband of 52 years of Marian Tong Thomas of Lebanon; the proud father of two sons, Sam Thomas, Jr., and Doug Thomas, and two daughters, Karen Lentz and Patti Smith; and the adoring grandfather of five; and ..." 
  4. "Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission". Kentucky. Retrieved July 5, 2009. 

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