(Edited press release)
The vocation “author” can now be added to the resume of James E. “Ted” Bassett III, who served Keeneland for more than 40 years as president, chairman of the board and trustee.
His autobiography, Keeneland’s Ted Bassett: My Life, has been published by the University Press of Kentucky and is available now in bookstores.
Written by Bassett and two-time Eclipse Award-winning journalist Bill Mooney, the book chronicles Bassett’s life, from his days at Kent School and Yale University, through his service with the United States Marine Corps and as director of the Kentucky State Police. It richly details Bassett’s career in the Thoroughbred industry, at Keeneland, as president of Breeders’ Cup Ltd. and through his journeys as an ambassador for racing on six continents.
“It has been a privilege to have been a participant in such an eventful period of America’s history,” said Bassett. “My life has spanned the years of the Great Depression, World War II, the civil rights and labor strife eras, and the advent of the jet age. These experiences have encompassed a lot of years.
“Further, I’ve had the privilege of participating in the explosive growth of the Thoroughbred industry, along with its more recent contraction as well. And so, so much of my work has directly involved Keeneland--the jewel of the Thoroughbred industry.”
“It’s Ted Bassett’s story, and the greatest challenge for me was to make sure the reader hears Ted’s voice throughout the book,” said Mooney. “He’s a wonderful story teller. And Ted has never ceased to learn anew from his ever-expanding range of experiences.”
Bassett’s tenure at Keeneland began in 1968, when he was hired to be the assistant to Louis Lee Haggin II. Bassett was president of Keeneland from 1969-1986. He subsequently served as Keeneland’s chairman of the board and trustee, and now holds the position of trustee emeritus.
The book combines historic and anecdotal information–the personalities within its pages range from former Kentucky Gov. Albert B. “Happy” Chandler and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to Racing Hall of Famers Pat Day and D. Wayne Lukas.
The Keeneland Gift Shop will carry the book, as will book stores throughout Central Kentucky and elsewhere. The book also is available online from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Tower Books, and directly from the University Press of Kentucky.
Public book signings have been scheduled at Keeneland April 10 (Maker’s Mark Day), from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and at Keeneland again April 11 (Toyota Blue Grass Stakes Day), from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Additional book signings have been scheduled at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lexington April 19, at 2 p.m.; at Borders Books & Music in downtown Louisville April 30, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.; and at the Kentucky Horse Park May 3 (at a time to be determined).
More information about Keeneland’s Ted Bassett: My Life can be found at www.tedbassett.com.