Joe Kernan

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Joe Kernan

Joseph Eugene Kernan (born April 8, 1946), widely known as Joe Kernan, is an American politician who became the Governor of Indiana on September 13, 2003 upon the death of Frank O'Bannon. Prior to becoming the governor, he had served as the Lieutenant Governor of Indiana. Kernan is a member of the Democratic Party. He lost the governorship in Indiana for re-election on November 2, 2004 to former George W. Bush Office of Management and Budget) director Mitch Daniels Jr. Since January 10, 2005, Kernan has left the office of governor and gone into political retirement in South Bend, Indiana, where prior to being Lieutenant Governor, he served as Mayor.

Joe Kernan graduated from St. Joseph's High School in South Bend, Indiana. He graduated in 1968 with a degree in Government from the University of Notre Dame.

Kernan entered the United States Navy in 1969 and served as a Naval Flight Officer aboard the carrier USS Kitty Hawk. In May of 1972, Kernan was shot down by the enemy while on a reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam. He was held as a prisoner of war. Kernan was repatriated in 1973 and continued on active duty with the Navy until December of 1974. Kernan received the Navy Commendation Medal, two Purple Hearts and the Distinguished Flying Cross. In 1974 he married his wife, Maggie.

Kernan was elected mayor of South Bend in 1987, 1991, and 1995. In 1996, Kernan was elected as Indiana's Lieutenant Governor, and then re-elected in 2000. As lieutenant governor of Indiana, Kernan served as the president of the Indiana Senate, the director of the Indiana Department of Commerce, and as the commissioner of Agriculture.

Preceded by:
Frank O'Bannon
Governor of Indiana Succeeded by:
Mitch Daniels

Joe Kernan is also the name of the manager of the Armagh Gaelic Football team who won their first Sam Maguire in 2002.


Joe Kernen, with "e", not "a", is the name of a television presenter (= anchor) on the business channel CNBC.

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