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

Ray, Joseph R., Sr.

(born: 1887  -  died: 1959) 

Joseph R. Ray, Sr. was born in Bloomfield, KY. In 1953, President Eisenhower appointed him Director of the Racial Relations Service of the Housing and Home Finance Agency. He had also been the first African American appointed to the Louisville, KY, Board of Equalization. He served as a buyer and appraiser for the Louisville Housing Authority and the Louisville Board of Education. Ray served as the second cashier of the First Standard Bank in Louisville, KY, and would become president of the bank in 1929. It was the first African American bank in the state. He was a World War I veteran. Joseph Ray, Sr. was the husband of Ella Hughes Ray and the father of Joseph "Joie" Ray, race-car driver. He was a graduate of Kentucky Normal and Industrial School [now Kentucky State University] and attended the University of Chicago. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; The Last and Most Difficult Barrier, Segregation and Federal Housing Policy in the Eisenhower Administration, 1953-1960, a 2005 Report Submitted to the Poverty and Race Research Action Council," by A. R. Hirsch, Department of History, University of New Orleans; and "Joseph Ray Sr., 72, U. S. Housing Aide," Special to the New York Times, 12/01/1959, p. 39.

See photo image of Joseph R. Ray, Sr. in Jet, 05/16/1963, p.11.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: First Standard Bank (Louisville, KY)
NKAA Entry: Dunnigan, Alice A.
NKAA Source: Fascinating story of Black Kentuckians : their heritage and traditions
NKAA Source: The New York times (newspaper)

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry:  Ray, Joseph R., Jr. "Joie"
NKAA Entry:  Taylor, James T. "Big Jim" [Harrods Creek, Kentucky]
NKAA Entry:  First Standard Bank (Louisville, KY)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Ray, Joseph R., Sr.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed January 26, 2021,

Last modified: 2017-07-19 17:51:29