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

Anderson, Felix S., Sr.

(born: October 3, 1893  -  died: May 5, 1983) 

Born in Louisville, KY, Rev. Felix S. Anderson, Sr. was a graduate of Livingston College and Hood Theological Seminary, both in North Carolina, and Western Theological Seminary in Michigan, where he received his Doctor of Divinity S.T.C. He was the first African American Democrat and the fourth African American in the Kentucky General Assembly.

Anderson had traveled around quite a bit before he came to Kentucky. He was elected as a Representative in 1954, 1956, and 1958. He was the first African American to chair a standing committee in the Kentucky House of Representatives when he was appointed head of the Committee of Suffrage, Elections, and Constitutional Amendments in 1958.

The movement away from Republicans had continued with the Democratic bid for votes from Louisville's African Americans in 1944 during the presidential election, with emphasis on the Roosevelt administration's economic contributions. By 1948, the number of eligible African American Democrat voters in Louisville had escalated to an all-time high of 32.2% of all African American registered voters.

Rev. Felix S. Anderson, Sr. was born in Wilmington, NC and moved with his mother to Boston, MA. He was elected a bishop of the AEM Zion Church in Buffalo, NY in 1960. He was pastor of the Broadway Temple AME Zion Church in Louisville. Rev. Anderson was the son of Bettie Anderson and the husband of Bessie B. Bizzell Anderson.

For more on Felix S. Anderson, see "Negro heads Kentucky panel," The New York Times, 1/18/1958, p. 9; "Retired bishop, ex-legislator dies," The Courier-Journal, 5/5/1983, p. A8; Felix S. Anderson, Sr. at Find A Grave; and contact the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission.

For more on the voting history, see L. C. Kesselman, "Negro Voting in a Border Community: Louisville, Kentucky," The Journal of Negro Education, vol. 26, no. 3, pp.  273-280.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Jefferson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Louisville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Courier-Journal [Louisville] (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The Journal of Negro education (periodical)
NKAA Source: The New York times (newspaper)

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“Anderson, Felix S., Sr.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed March 1, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-03-08 18:26:24