Former State Senator and Former Secretary of the Kentucky Finance and Administration and Transportation Cabinets
Joseph “Joe” Prather was born in Louisville, Kentucky but has lived in Hardin County since childhood. He attended Elizabethtown Catholic High School, graduated from Vine Grove High School, and attended the University of Louisville. Joe owned his own auction and realty company and served as Chairman of the Board for Service First Warehouse and Distribution, Hardin County Bank and Trust in Radcliff, and Farmers Deposit Bank in Brandenburg.
A longtime governmental and legislative leader, Joe served as State Chairman for two successful Gubernatorial campaigns, has served as State Representative, Majority Whip, Kentucky State Democratic Party Chairman, State Senator, Senate President Pro Tempore and, most recently, as Secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet and Secretary of the Transportation Cabinet.
Joe has provided leadership on countless community projects and for organizations including the University of Louisville, the Louisville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Hardin County Board of Realtors, Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation, Elizabethtown-Hardin County Chamber of Commerce; the Kentucky/Indiana Bridges Authority, and more.
When asked why a man with this legacy of service and countless honors chose to serve on and chair the Baptist Health Foundation Hardin Board of Directors, Joe said, “It’s simple. There’s nothing more important than quality healthcare.”
Joe remembers as a young school-aged child in the 1950s bringing quarters to school to help build the original 81-bed hospital. He used to ride his bike past the construction to see the progress.
Joe and his wife Jennie live in Elizabethtown and have five children and nine grandchildren.
He says he’s doing this for them and everyone’s grandchildren. “We need to help keep Baptist Health Hardin strong today and for future generations.”