From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Best, James L.

(born: 1944  -  died: 2013) James Best, born in Lexington, KY, was the first African American firefighter to be promoted to the rank of captain in the Lexington Fire Department. He joined the department in 1970 and retired in 2008, having served for 38 years. He was also host of the educational show "In Case of Fire" that aired on the local government television channel GTV. James Best was an active member of he Historic Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church, and was elected to the church's Hall of Fame in recognition of his public service and work with youths. James Best was the husband of Karen I. Best. He was the son of Lottie Mae Best Riley. For more see J. Kegley, "Firefighter was a pioneer - first black to be promoted to captain," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/07/2013, p.A5.


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NKAA Source: Lexington herald-leader (newspaper)

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“Best, James L.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed September 25, 2017,

Last modified: 2017-07-19 13:51:56