ForwardKY contributor Berry Craig named Democrat of the Year

Bruce Maples (

It takes a lot to shock or surprise veteran reporter and history professor Berry Craig. But the Graves County Democrats pulled it off.

At their annual pre-Fancy-Farm breakfast, the group named Berry Craig their Democrat of the Year for 2019. To say he was surprised is an understatement.

“Gobsmacked” is how he described his reaction when they called his name. As the presenter, Charlotte Goddard, continued listing his many accomplishments, he sat listening with his mouth agape.

Most at the breakfast didn’t know it, but Craig had considered skipping this year’s breakfast and saving his energy for the long day to come, covering the doings at Fancy Farm. Fortunately, his wife, Melinda, made up some story and convinced him they needed to attend. And, that he needed to wear a nice shirt.

Having recovered from the surprise, Craig proceeded to thank the Democrats gathered at the breakfast from across the state. He then let it be known that his maternal grandparents had both been devoted Democrats, and didn’t vote for a Republican even once in their lives.

“And neither have I,” he concluded.

Berry Craig receiving the Democrat of the Year award (photo by Bruce Maples)
Berry Craig receiving the Democrat of the Year award (photo by Bruce Maples)


As noted in his contributor bio, Berry Craig of Mayfield is a professor emeritus of history at West Kentucky Community College in Paducah and an author of five books on the Civil War in Kentucky. The last one, published by the University Press of Kentucky, is Kentucky’s Rebel Press: Pro-Confederate Media in the Civil War. His critically-acclaimed Kentucky Confederates: Secession, Civil War, and the Jackson Purchase, also from the University Press, has been reprinted in paperback.

Not noted in his Forward Kentucky bio, but also important to know, is that Berry is an experienced reporter and journalist, an excellent photographer, and both a scholar and a raconteur. We at Forward Kentucky consider ourselves exceptionally blessed to have him on our staff, and even more blessed to be his friends. Congratulations, Berry, for the award – it is richly deserved.

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