Welcome to our Thornton family

In this blog we attempt to create a visual history of a main southern Kentucky Thornton branch, descended from Scots-Irish Thorntons who may have arrived in Pennsylvania in the mid-1700s. If your goal is to check whether or not you or a family member are listed in our genealogy file, the first eight posts contain more than 1,500 names, listed generationally. Use the 'find' command to scroll through the material...Good luck.

Also, if you have photos, corrections, or inquiries, please feel free to contact us at thorntonsoky@gmail.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Thornton Cousin Profile: Billionaire Brad Kelley

Brad Maurice Kelley, second great-grandson of Mary Jane Thornton, daughter of James and Lucy Laney Thornton, was born in 1956 to Joe Frank Kelley and Patsy Ruth Gregory.  While his early years were spent in Bowling Green, KY, Brad attended high school in Franklin, KY, near where his Thornton ancestors had originally arrived.

An enterprising youth, investing in real estate and agriculture during his teenage years, he built up a tobacco business that was later sold to Houchins Industries for $1 billion.  He has diversified his business interests into media, horses, and real estate.  It is estimated that he is the fourth largest private landowner in the United States, with valuable ranches throughout the Midwest and Texas.  In addition, he is the current operator of Calumet Farms, Lexington, KY: his horse, Oxbow, won the 2013 Preakness Stakes.  The Lonely Planet travel guides are produced by his media house, NC2.

Brad Kelley is a noted conservationist and supporter of organizations that protect endangered wildlife such as rhinos and tapirs.

He is married to Susan Bush, and they have three children.  His current net worth is estimated to be approximately $2 billion.