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

Devine, Jerry Knox

(born: 1929  -  died: 2001) Jerry Knox Devine was an education and  community leader, the first African American elected to the Lexington Fayette County School Board since the city and county school districts merged in 1968; Devine became the first to be Chairman of the Board in 1997. Devine joined the school board in 1995 when he defeated Barth Pemberton in the November 1994 general election [source: J. Warren, "Black leaders cast eyes on vacancy - African American who lost was only representative, Lexington Herald Leader, 11/4/2010, p. A3].

Jerry Devine, born October 18, 1929, was a native of Lexington, KY. He returned home in 1989 after retiring from a 27-year career with the school system in Detroit, MI. In Lexington, in addition to being a member of the school board, Devine was a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., past president of the Oakwood Neighborhood Association, and past president of the Lexington NAACP [source: L. Daffendall, "Jerry Devine: 1929-2001 - ex school board chief fought for children," Lexington Herald Leader, 11/21/2001].

Devine died November 20, 2001. He was a 1948 graduate of Lexington Dunbar High School and attended Kentucky State University for a year before joining the Army [source: L. Daffendall, "Jerry Devine: 1929-2001 - ex school board chief fought for children," Lexington Herald Leader, 11/21/2001]. After his military service, Devine returned to school and completed both his bachelor's and master's degrees and completed his coursework for a Ph.D. He served for five years on the Lexington Fayette County School Board, resigning after he was diagnosed with bone cancer. He is remembered for keeping racial diversity and equity at the top of the school board agenda.

See also the following articles: "Devine's challenge - ex-board chairman sought more diversity in schools," Lexington Herald Leader, 11/21/2001, Commentary, p. A14; L. Morton, "Northside Lions Club honors Jerry Devine," Lexington Herald Leader, 2/7/2001, p. 6; M. Davis, "Devine deserved more at the end," Lexington Herald Leader, 11/29/2001, p. 2; and "Insensitivity lesson - bad funeral manners suggest deeper flaw in school officials," Lexington Herald Leader, 11/29/2001, Commentary, p. A14.

* This entry was suggested by Priscilla Sullivan; she also provided the reference sources.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Fayette County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

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“Devine, Jerry Knox,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 20, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-06-28 17:04:20