The Diocese of Owensboro was created by Pope Pius XI on December 9, 1937, separating the 32 counties of western Kentucky from the Diocese of Louisville which was at that time elevated to an Archdiocese.
The Most Reverend Francis R. Cotton, the first Bishop of Owensboro, was preconized (appointed) December 16, 1937.
The Most Reverend Henry J. Soenneker – appointed March 10, 1961, retired June 30, 1982 – was the second Bishop of Owensboro.
The Most Reverend John J. McRaith, appointed October 23, 1982, served as the third Bishop of Owensboro. Bishop McRaith resigned for health reasons January 5, 2009.
The Most Reverend William Francis Medley was appointed December 15, 2009 to serve as the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Owensboro. Bishop Medley was ordained to the episcopacy on February 10, 2010.