Thomas William Ludlow “Lud” Ashley (January 11, 1923 – June 15, 2010) was an American businessman and politician of the Democratic Party. He served as a U.S. representative from Ohio from 1955 to 1981.
Ashley was born on January 11, 1923 in Toledo, Ohio, and raised on the Old West End. He was the son of Mary Alida Gouverneur (née Ludlow) Ashley and William Meredith Ashley, who owned a small steel manufacturing firm. His older brother William was killed in May 1944, at age 22, when his Army bomber exploded during a training mission over Massachusetts.
Ashley attended Maumee Valley Country Day School and graduated from the Kent School in Connecticut in 1942. During World War II, he served in the United States Army as a corporal in the Pacific Theater of Operations. After the war, Ashley attended Yale University, where he graduated in 1948. At Yale, he was a member of the secret society Skull and Bones along with future U.S. President George H. W. Bush.
After graduating from Yale, Ashley worked with the Toledo Publicity and Efficiency Commission. Encouraged by Michael DiSalle, then mayor of Toledo and later governor of Ohio, he began studying law through night classes at the University of Toledo College of Law. He graduated from Ohio State University College of Law in 1951. He was admitted to the bar that year and began practicing law.