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

Simpson, Frank Burnett

(born: December 21, 1919  -  died: June 14, 2012) In 1969, Frank B. Simpson was named the assistant superintendent for general administration in the Jefferson County School System in Louisville, KY. He was the first African American named to the position, and according to the Lexington Herald-Leader article, it was a high-ranking position. In 1971, Simpson and Arthur Hawkins, an instructor at Mt. Sterling High School, were elected to 4-year terms on the Kentucky High School Athletic Association's Board of Control. They were the first two African American members following the court order by Judge Mac Swinford that two African Americans be selected to the 8-man board in regular elections each year. In 1973, Frank B. Simpson advanced from vice president to president of the KHSAA Board of Control. 

Frank Burnette Simpson had come to Kentucky to attend Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University]. He graduated in 1942 with a B.S. in agriculture, and began teaching in Elkton, KY, at the Todd County Training School. After a few months, he left the school to serve in the Air Force, and retuned in 1946 after his discharge. Frank B. Simpson earned his M.S. in education administration from the University of Kentucky in 1965. Two years later, he left Elkton to become principal of Attucks High School in Hopkinsville, KY. He served as the assistant superintendent of the Hopkinsville Independent Schools from 1967-1968, then became the assistant superintendent in Louisville in 1969. Frank B. Simpson also served as the national president of the Kentucky State University Alumni Association.

In 1982, shareholders elected Frank Simpson to a one-year term to fill the vacancy on the board of directors. After his career in education, he served as the director of the Continental National Bank. He received an Honorary Doctorate from Kentucky State University in 1991. Frank B. Simpson was from Jewett, TX, the son of Annie Matson and Herman Reed Simpson. He was the husband of Estelle Virginia Martin.

SOURCES: Frank Burnett Simpson WWII Draft Registration Card in Ancestry; "Simpson, Hawkins ready to start terms, The Courier-Journal, 12/26/1971, p.5; "Regular basketball play for girls delayed a year," The Courier-Journal, 07/29/1973, p.36; "First Negro is Named Jefferson School Exec," The Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/30/1969, p.16; "Ticker tape: Continental bank outlook," The Courier-Journal, 05/13/1982, p.46; "We're here on your account!," The Courier-Journal, 02/12/1984, p.200; and Frank Burnett Simpson at Find A Grave.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Jefferson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Todd County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Christian County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Franklin County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Montgomery County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Louisville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Elkton, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Hopkinsville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Frankfort, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Mt. Sterling, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Shipman, V. Joseph [Continental National Bank]
NKAA Source: Ancestry (online)
NKAA Source: Lexington herald-leader (newspaper)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Simpson, Frank Burnett,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed January 30, 2023,

Last modified: 2021-08-07 01:29:40