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Mayor Jerry Abramson, Louisville Metro Government

Jerry Abramson, who had already served three terms as mayor of the city of Louisville, was elected the first mayor of Louisville Metro after the historic merger between the Louisville and Jefferson County governments in 2002. Since the merger, which took effect in January 2003, Abramson has overseen a fundamental restructuring of local government while working to get formerly separate interests working together.

Born east of downtown Louisville, where his father operated a neighborhood grocery, Abramson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business economics from Indiana University and a law degree from Georgetown University in Washington, DC. After serving for two years in the U.S. Army (1969-1971), he was elected to two terms on Louisville’s Board of Aldermen, served as general counsel to Kentucky Gov. John Y. Brown Jr., practiced law as a partner with the Louisville firm of Greenebaum Doll and McDonald LLC, and was elected mayor in 1985.

After he reached the three-term limit as Louisville’s mayor in 1998, Abramson went back into the practice of law at Frost Brown Todd LLC, one of the region’s largest law firms. He also formed the Abramson Group, specializing in urban and regional economic development and business strategies.

In 2000, he was one of the primary leaders of the successful campaign to merge the governments of Louisville and Jefferson County. He won office as the community’s first Metro mayor with nearly 74 percent of the vote. In November 2006, he was re-elected by a more than 2-to-1 margin.

Program 107
Hollywood actor Denny Miller, the University of Louisville’s Tarzan collection, Indian bead artist Surekha Kulkarni, the facts about Kentucky “seafood,” and an interview with Mayor Jerry Abramson. (#107)