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 Lexington Herald-Leader, it was a high-ranking position.

In 1971, Simpson and Arthur Hawkins, an instructor at Mt. Sterling High School, were elected to four-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 eight-man board in regular elections each year. In 1973, 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, returning in 1946 after his discharge.

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, then served as the assistant superintendent of the Hopkinsville Independent Schools from 1967-1968 and became the assistant superintendent in Louisville in 1969. He 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 a 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, 7/29/1973, p. 36; "First Negro is Named Jefferson School Exec," The Lexington Herald-Leader, 7/30/1969, p. 16; "Ticker tape: Continental bank outlook," The Courier-Journal, 5/13/1982, p. b46; "We're here on your account!" The Courier-Journal, 2/12/1984, 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

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

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

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Simpson, Frank Burnett,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed February 21, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-02-13 16:51:43