New KET Documentary Profiles Ashland Oil’s John Hall

New KET Documentary Profiles Ashland Oil’s John Hall

From the academic halls and the gridiron at Vanderbilt University to the competitive business world at Ashland Oil (now Ashland Inc.), Texas native John Hall has thrived on competitiveness, tenacity and compassion. A new documentary, John Hall: The Kentucky Commodore, premiering Tuesday, April 26 at 8/7 pm on KET, relays Hall’s life, business career and extensive philanthropic work.

Hall’s rise to the helm of Ashland Oil began in 1957, when he was hired by the company to do research and development, following his 1955 graduation from Vanderbilt University. By 1979, Hall had become vice president in charge of refining. In 1981, when he was just 48 years old, he became Ashland Oil’s CEO, following his successful negotiation of an oil deal with the Iranian revolutionary government of the Ayatollah Khomeni during the nation’s crude oil shortage.

After his 1996 retirement from Ashland, Hall has dedicated his life to philanthropy, spearheading efforts to help many causes, including Kentucky education, Keeneland, the University of Kentucky’s Markey Cancer Center and KET – where he is chairman emeritus of the Commonwealth Fund for KET.

John Hall: The Kentucky Commodore is a KET production. Morgan Atkinson is producer/director. Shae Hopkins and Craig Cornwell are executive producers. The program is funded in part by KET’s Endowment for Kentucky Productions.

KET is Kentucky’s largest classroom, serving more than one million people each week via television, online and mobile. Learn more about Kentucky’s preeminent public media organization on Twitter @KET and and at

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