George Atkins, former Kentucky auditor and Hopkinsville mayor, dies

Republished from Kentucky Lantern

George L. Atkins Jr.

George L. Atkins Jr., 82, a Hopkinsville native and former mayor, died Sunday, April 14.

Atkins was born July 10, 1941, the son of George L. Atkins Sr. and Frances Shaver Atkins. His family owned and ran Atkins Dairy next door to their Walnut Street residence and across the street from the old Hopkinsville High School.

A 1959 graduate of HHS and a 1963 graduate of the University of Kentucky, he played college basketball for Coach Adolph Rupp.

In 1972, Hopkinsville City Council appointed Atkins, a Democrat, as mayor to fill a vacancy in the office — a decision that helped launch a political career that took him to Frankfort.

While still serving as mayor, he ran for Kentucky state auditor. He won that race in the 1975 general election at age 34.

Atkins ran for governor in 1979 but pulled out of the race early and threw his support to the eventual winner, John Y. Brown Jr. He served as Brown’s finance secretary and then as cabinet secretary.

In 1983, Atkins ran for lieutenant governor but lost to Steve Beshear.

The memorial service for Atkins will be Friday, April 19, in Louisville. A Hopkinsville visitation is planned from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at Hughart, Beard & Giles Funeral Home.

This story may be updated. 

This story is republished from Hoptown Chronicle.

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