James E. Bassett III
Biographical History


Kent School 1941
Yale University 1944

Military Service

WWII 1st Lt. 4th Marine, 6th Division
Pacific Theater 1944-1946
Purple Heart and Presidential Unit Citation
Marine Corp Semper Fidelis Award 1990
Dept of Navy Superior Public Service Award 2007
Congressional Medal Of Honor Society Distinguished Citizen Award 2011

Public Service

Deputy Commissioner Kentucky Department of Public Safety 1958-1967
Director Kentucky State Police 1963-1967

Industry Association

President Keeneland Association 1970-86
President Thoroughbred Club of America 1979-80
Chairman Kentucky Horse Park 1980-83
Trustee American Horse Council 1985-87
President Thoroughbred Racing Assoc 1985-86
President UK Equine Research Foundation 1986-89
Chairman Keeneland Association 1986-2001
President Breeders’ Cup ltd. 1988-96
Chairman Equibase Inc. 1990-97
Trustee Keeneland Association 1993-2006
Steward The Jockey Club 1993-97
Chairman World Racing Championship Series 1996-04

Honorary Degrees and Honorary Memberships

Eastern Kentucky University -Doctor of Laws 1976
Transylvania University – Doctor of Laws 1987
University of Kentucky – Doctor of Laws 1993
Hong Kong Race Horse Owners Association
The Association of Jockey Clubs of Latin America
Victoria Racing Club – Australia


Thoroughbred Club of America 1984
NYRA Turf & Field Club Award 1984
Transylvania Medal 1985
Dean Engle Memorial Award 1986
Nat’l Turf Writers Joe Palmer Award 1986
W.C. Coman Humanitarian Award 1987
Keene Daingerfield Award 1987
HBPA Man of the Year 1989
Dinner of Champions Honoree 1991
Bluegrass Business Hall of Fame 1992
Derby Festival Silver Horseshoe 1995
KY Athletic Hall of Fame 1995
Eclipse Award of Merit 1996
William H. May Award 1997
John A. Morris Award 1997
Lord Derby Award 1998
John W. Galbreath Award 1999
YMCA Red Triangle Award 1999
Chandler Foundation Award 2000
Warner L. Jones Award 2001
J.F. Pew Award 2001
LMS Layman of the Year 2006
EKU Dean’s Award 2007
W.T. Young Lifetime Achievement Award 2007
KTA Humanitarian Award 2008
Dr. Tony Ryan Award 2010
Sanders-Brown Award 2010
Franklin Moosnick Citizen Award 2011
Distinguished Philanthropist Award 2011
Bluegrass Sports Commission Altech Award 2013
Race Track Chaplaincy Award 2015
KET Philanthropy Award 2015
Kent Athletic Hall of Fame 2016
KY TOB Achievement Award 2019
National Museum HOF Award 2019
Kent Sill Society 2019
Abercrombie Public Service Award 2020

Community-Civic Involvement

Chairman -Save The Calumet Trophies 1987-1989
Chairman -YMCA Capital Campaign 1997-1999
Chairman -Junior Achievement Capital Campaign 2000
Chairman -Kentucky Blood Center Capital Campaign 2005-2007
Chairman -Central Kentucky Heart and Stroke Charity – 2011
Salute to the Legends of the Corps – 1998
Salute to the Legends of the Corps – 1999
Salute to the Legends of the Corps – 2001
Salute to the Legends of the Corps – 2008