FRANKFORT, KY (WOWK) – Former Kentucky Governor John Y. Brown Jr. has died at the age of 88, according to Governor Andy Beshear.

Beshear says flags will be flown at half staff at all state office buildings until sunset on the day of Brown’s interment.

Brown served as the commonwealth’s 55th governor from 1979 to 1983. He was born Dec. 28, 1933 to Congressman John Y. Brown Sr. and Dorothy Inman Brown. He received his law degree from the University of Kentucky in 1960 and served in the U.S. Army reserve.

Brown is also known for helping build Kentucky Fried Chicken into an international fast-food company and has served as the owner of both the Boston Celtics, and the Kentucky Colonels basketball teams, according to the National Governors Association.

“I am sad to share that former Governor John Y. Brown Jr. passed away yesterday,” said Beshear. “Gov. Brown was a remarkable leader who was committed to serving the people of Kentucky. He made our commonwealth a better place. Britainy and I are praying for his family and loved ones.”

Beshear also shared the following statement from Gov. Brown’s family:

Our Dad, John Y. Brown Jr., not only dreamed the impossible dream, he lived it until the very end. His positive attitude and zest for life was unrivaled and allowed him to beat the odds many times over. Every day was an exciting adventure for him. He was a true Kentucky original who beamed with pride for his home state and its people. He had many prominent accomplishments, but most of all he loved his family with all of his heart, and we in turn loved him with all of our hearts. We are heartbroken by his passing, but find comfort in what he wrote in one of his final days, “I have never been so happy.”

Family of former KY Gov. John Y. Brown Jr.

According to Gov. Beshear, Brown will lie in state at the Kentucky State Capitol Rotunda. Full arrangements for Brown will be released at a later time.