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Austin Peay

Austin Peay graduated from Centre in 1895, and served a governor of Tennessee. He was the only governor of his generation to be elected for a third term and was the first chief executive of Tennessee to die while in office. He was born in Christian County, Kentucky, June 1, 1876. After his graduation from Centre, he began practicing law and moved to Clarksville, Tennessee. When he was 25 years old he was elected to the lower house of the Tennessee legislature from Montgomery County. He was not a candidate for re-election. That was the only elective office he ever held other than that of governor. For several years he served as chairman of the State Democratic Committee. He was recognized as one of the most progressive governors in the South. Peay died October 2, 1927, at his home in Nashville. He was survived by his widow, one son, Austin Peay, Jr., a member of the 1924 graduating class at Centre, and one daughter, Mrs. A.P.L. Armstrong, of Memphis.