Blanton, Ray

Blanton, Ray

(1930–  ) governor; born in Hardin County, Tenn. A construction company executive, he served in the U.S. House of Representatives (Dem., Tenn.; 1969–71). As governor of Tennessee (1975–79) he expanded industry and tourism, but left office early after allegedly selling pardons to 52 prisoners. In 1981 he was sentenced to three years in prison for selling liquor licenses while in office.