Benjamin Travis Laney (25 November 1896–21 January 1977) was a Democratic Governor of Arkansas.
Ben Laney was born in Camden, Arkansas. Laney attended public schools in Ouachita County, Arkansas and never finished high school. He was, however, admitted to Hendrix College in 1915.
His studies were interrupted by World War I. Laney entered the United States Navy in 1918 and served until the end of the war.
Laney earned a degree from Arkansas Teacher's College in 1924 and took graduate courses from the University of Utah. Laney owned a drugstore in Conway, Arkansas, dealt in real estate, and had interests in cotton gins, feed, and banking . Oil was discovered on Laney's farm near Camden which propelled Laney into the oil industry. Laney gained the nickname "Business Ben" due to his varied business interests.
Laney was elected Mayor of Camden in 1935 and served until 1939. He successfully ran for Governor of Arkansas in 1944. During his administration the Public Utilities Commission was formed and funds were appropriated for a stadium to be built in Little Rock. Plans were also formed for the construction of an official Governor's Mansion. Laney successfully ran for reelection in 1946. He skipped one term and attempted to regain office in 1950 unsuccessfully.
In 1948 Laney was a top choice to serve as the Dixiecrat Presidential pick. Laney at first balked and told reporters he would not attend the breakaway convention, but changed his mind and made the trip to Birmingham, Alabama. Laney remained in his hotel room and did not attend the convention. He formally withdrew his name from consideration before the nomination was made. The nomination ultimately fell to Strom Thurmond of South Carolina.
Former Governor Laney served as a delegate to the 1969 Arkansas Constitutional Convention.
Benjamin T. Laney, Jr. died of a heart attack on 21 January 1977. He is buried at the Camden Memorial Cemetery in Camden, Arkansas.