George Wallace

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George C. Wallace
George C Wallace.jpg
45th Governor of Alabama
In office
January 17, 1983 – January 19, 1987
LieutenantBill Baxley
Preceded byFob James
Succeeded byH. Guy Hunt
In office
January 18, 1971 – January 15, 1979*
LieutenantJere Beasley
Preceded byAlbert Brewer
Succeeded byFob James
In office
January 14, 1963 – January 16, 1967
LieutenantJames Allen
Preceded byJohn Patterson
Succeeded byLurleen Wallace
First Gentleman of Alabama
In role
January 16, 1967 – May 7, 1968
GovernorLurleen Wallace
Preceded byLurleen Wallace (First Lady)
Succeeded byMartha Farmer Brewer (First Lady)
Personal details
Born
George Corley Wallace Jr.

(1919-08-25)August 25, 1919
Clio, Alabama, U.S.
DiedSeptember 13, 1998(1998-09-13) (aged 79)
Montgomery, Alabama, U.S.
Resting placeGreenwood Cemetery
Political partyDemocratic
Other political
affiliations
American Independent (1968)
Spouse(s)
Lurleen Burns
(m. 1943; died 1968)

Cornelia Snively
(m. 1971; div. 1978)

Lisa Taylor
(m. 1981; div. 1987)
Children4, including George
EducationUniversity of Alabama (LLB)
Signature
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1942–1945
RankStaff Sergeant
UnitUnited States Army Air Forces
Battles/warsWorld War II
  • Jere Beasley served as Acting Governor from June 5, 1972 – July 7, 1972 while Wallace recovered from the assassination attempt.

George Corley Wallace (August 25, 1919 – September 13, 1998) was an American politician. He served as Governor of Alabama serving from 1963 to 1967. He ran for President of the United States three times (1964, 1968, 1976).

Wallace was born in Cilio, Alabama. He began his long political career at the age of 33 after running for county judge.

When Wallace was running for President, he was shot and paralyzed for the rest of his life. His is known for having different views on segregation. He was a Democrat.

Wallace died at the age of 79 from sepsis caused by a spinal infection after 26 years of being in a wheelchair.

Early life[change | change source]

Wallace was born George Corely Wallace on August 25, 1919 in Clio, Alabama.[1] He studied at University of Alabama. He grew up in a lower middle class family. As a young man, he was an amateur boxer, where he fought as a bantamweight.

Wallace was a very short man for his entire life, and as an adult was about 5'2" (1.57m)

Career[change | change source]

He served four terms as governor of Alabama, and also ran for President of the United States several times, during the 1960s and 1970s. Wallace was a longtime supporter of segregation; a policy that did not allow African-Americans to attend the same schools, or go to many of the same public places, as white people. In 1963 he stood in a schoolhouse door to prevent black students from attending the school (which would have integrated the school). In a speech, he said he would support "segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever". He was a controversial figure. Some people saw him as a man who spoke up for the poor and was an outspoken populist. Others viewed him as a terrible person, a white supremacist who encouraged violence.

In time, he changed his views, and said that he was sorry to African-Americans, and other people hurt by segregation. He promoted black equality in his last term as Governor. Despite this, he remains an icon of racism today and many people think of him as one of the most evil figures in American history.

Assassination attempt[change | change source]

During the 1972 presidential campaign, Wallace was shot five times by a would-be assassin, Arthur Bremer.[2] He suffered permanent injury to his spine. He could no longer walk, and spent the rest of his life using a wheelchair.

Later career[change | change source]

After his last term as governor, he began speaking in public places (including churches), to promote tolerance and friendship between people of different races.

Personal life[change | change source]

Wallace was married to Laurleen Wallace until her death. Then he was married to Corelia Wallace until they divorced. Then he was married to Lisa Taylor until they divorced. He had four children.

Popular Culture[change | change source]

The Lynyrd Skynyrd song "Sweet Home Alabama" has the line "In Birmingham they love the Governor / Boo Boo Boo / Now we all did what we could do / if watergate does not bother me / does your conscience bother you now tell me true." Even though Wallace is not mentioned by name, the line clearly refers to him, and members of the band have confirmed this and have said they disliked Wallace.

Gary Sinise played him in the film George Wallace.

A tunnel on Interstate 10 in Alabama has been named the George Wallace Memorial Tunnel.

Death[change | change source]

Wallace died on September 13, 1998 in Montgomery, Alabama from sepsis complicated by a spinal infection, aged 79.[3] He was buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Montgomery.

References[change | change source]

  1. "George C. Wallace". Encyclopædia Britannica (Encyclopædia Britannica Online Encyclopædia Britannica Inc.). August 25, 2012. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/634760/George-C-Wallace. Retrieved August 25, 2012. 
  2. Greider, William (May 16, 1972). "Wallace Is Shot, Legs Paralyzed; Suspect Seized at Laurel Rally". Washington Post. Retrieved Aug 20, 2013.
  3. "George Wallace dies, Former Alabama governor made 2 strong bids for president". CNN.com. September 13, 1998. Retrieved March 29, 2014.

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to George Wallace at Wikimedia Commons