General Dougherty is a native of Glasgow, KY, having been born there November 15, 1920. He graduated from Western Kentucky University then received a law degree from the University of Louisville. Honorary degrees have been bestowed on him from several universities.
From service with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, he entered the military as an aviation cadet, receiving his pilot wings in March 1943. During World War II his duties included crew and instructor pilot assignments with B-17 and B-29 aircraft. Three decades of intense involvement in the Cold War found General Dougherty in leadership positions, both nationally and internationally. In 1972, General Dougherty was promoted to his four-star grade and assigned as Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied powers Europe, returning to the United States in 1974 to take command of the Strategic Air Command. Following retirement in 1977, General Dougherty was senior statesman and advisor in military circles and was Executive Director of the Air Force Assoication. He died in 2007 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Among his many decorations are: the Defense Distinguised Service Medal; Air Force Distinguished Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters; Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters; the Bronze Star; and the Joint Service Commendation Medal.