George Wallace
Overview
 
George Corley Wallace, Jr. (August 25, 1919 – September 13, 1998) was the 45th Governor of Alabama, serving four terms: 1963–1967, 1971–1979 and 1983–1987. "The most influential loser" in 20th-century U.S. politics, according to biographers Dan T. Carter and Stephan Lesher, he ran for U.S. president
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 four times, running officially as a Democrat three times and in the American Independent Party
American Independent Party
The American Independent Party is a right-wing political party of the United States that was established in 1967 by Bill and Eileen Shearer. In 1968, the American Independent Party nominated George C. Wallace as its presidential candidate and retired Air Force General Curtis E. LeMay as the vice...

 once.

A 1972 assassination attempt left him paralyzed; he used a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
Quotations

We shall continue to maintain segregation in Alabama completely and absolutely without violence or ill-will. ... I advocate hatred of no man, because hate will only compound the problems facing the South. ... We ask for patience and tolerance and make an earnest request that we be allowed to handle state and local affairs without outside interference.

First gubernatorial campaign (14 February 1958)

I want to tell the good people of this state as a judge of the 3rd Judicial Circuit, if I didn’t have what it took to treat a man fair regardless of his color, then I don’t have what it takes to be the governor of your great state.

First gubernatorial campaign (1958)

I was outsegged (segregated) by John Patterson. And I’ll tell you here and now, I will never be outsegged again.

To Seymore Trammell (1958)

As your governor, I shall resist any illegal federal court order, even to the point of standing at the schoolhouse door in person, if necessary.

Campaign speech on federally mandated integration (1962)

The unwelcomed, unwanted, unwarranted, and force-induced intrusion upon the campus of the University of Alabama today of the might of the central government offers frightful example of the oppression of the rights, privileges and sovereignty of this state by officers of the federal government.

At the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa, during his stand to bar integration (1963)

Sure, I look like a white man. But my heart is as black as anyone's here.

Speech to a mostly African-American audience, as quoted in 1001 Dumbest Things Ever Said (2004) by Steven D. Price, p. 33

Why does the Air Force need expensive new bombers? Have the people we've been bombing over the years been complaining?

Absurdities, Scandals & Stupidities in Politics (2006) by Hakeem Shittu and Callie Query, p. 106

I tried to talk about good roads and good schools and all these things that have been part of my career, and nobody listened. And then I began talking about niggers, and they stomped the floor.

Being governor don't mean a thing anymore in this country. We're nothing. Just high-paid ornaments is all. I'm thinking of running for president myself.

Encyclopedia
George Corley Wallace, Jr. (August 25, 1919 – September 13, 1998) was the 45th Governor of Alabama, serving four terms: 1963–1967, 1971–1979 and 1983–1987. "The most influential loser" in 20th-century U.S. politics, according to biographers Dan T. Carter and Stephan Lesher, he ran for U.S. president
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 four times, running officially as a Democrat three times and in the American Independent Party
American Independent Party
The American Independent Party is a right-wing political party of the United States that was established in 1967 by Bill and Eileen Shearer. In 1968, the American Independent Party nominated George C. Wallace as its presidential candidate and retired Air Force General Curtis E. LeMay as the vice...

 once.

A 1972 assassination attempt left him paralyzed; he used a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He is best known for his Southern
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 populist
Populism
Populism can be defined as an ideology, political philosophy, or type of discourse. Generally, a common theme compares "the people" against "the elite", and urges social and political system changes. It can also be defined as a rhetorical style employed by members of various political or social...

, pro-segregation
Racial segregation
Racial segregation is the separation of humans into racial groups in daily life. It may apply to activities such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a public toilet, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home...

 attitudes during the American desegregation
Desegregation
Desegregation is the process of ending the separation of two groups usually referring to races. This is most commonly used in reference to the United States. Desegregation was long a focus of the American Civil Rights Movement, both before and after the United States Supreme Court's decision in...

 period, convictions he renounced later in life.

Early life

The first of four children, Wallace was a native of Barbour County
Barbour County, Alabama
Barbour County, Alabama is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. Its name is in honor of James Barbour, who served as Governor of Virginia. As of 2010 the population was 27,457. Its county seat is Clayton.-History:...

, Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

. He was born in the town of Clio
Clio, Alabama
Clio is a city in Barbour County, Alabama, United States. The population was 2,206 at the 2000 census, at which time it was a town. It is the birthplace of former Alabama governor George C. Wallace, as well as Baseball Hall of Famer and current Atlanta Braves broadcaster, Don...

, in rural southeast Alabama, to George Corley Wallace and Mozell Smith Wallace. He was the third of four generations to have the name George Wallace, but as neither parent liked the name "Junior", he was called George C. to distinguish him from his father, George, and his grandfather, Dr. Wallace. Wallace's father had dropped out of college to pursue a life of farming when prices were high during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

; Mozell had to sell their farmland to pay existing mortgages
Mortgage loan
A mortgage loan is a loan secured by real property through the use of a mortgage note which evidences the existence of the loan and the encumbrance of that realty through the granting of a mortgage which secures the loan...

 when George Sr. died in 1937. George, like his parents, became a life-long Methodist.

Wallace was fascinated with politics from the age of 10, winning a contest to serve as a page for the Alabama Senate
Alabama Senate
The Alabama State Senate is the upper house of the Alabama Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Alabama. The body is composed of 35 members representing an equal amount of districts across the state, with each district containing at least 127,140 citizens...

 in 1935 and confidently predicting that he would one day be governor. Wallace became a regionally successful boxer in high school, then went directly to law school at the University of Alabama
University of Alabama
The University of Alabama is a public coeducational university located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States....

 in Tuscaloosa
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Tuscaloosa is a city in and the seat of Tuscaloosa County in west central Alabama . Located on the Black Warrior River, it is the fifth-largest city in Alabama, with a population of 90,468 in 2010...

 in 1937. He was a member of the Delta Chi
Delta Chi
Delta Chi or D-Chi is an international Greek letter college social fraternity formed on October 13, 1890,at Cornell University, initially as a professional fraternity for law students. On April 29, 1922, Delta Chi became a general membership social fraternity, eliminating the requirement for men...

 Fraternity. After receiving a LL.B. degree in 1942, he entered pilot cadet training in the Air Force
United States Army Air Forces
The United States Army Air Forces was the military aviation arm of the United States of America during and immediately after World War II, and the direct predecessor of the United States Air Force....

. He washed out, became a staff sergeant
Staff Sergeant
Staff sergeant is a rank of non-commissioned officer used in several countries.The origin of the name is that they were part of the staff of a British army regiment and paid at that level rather than as a member of a battalion or company.-Australia:...

 and flew B-29 combat missions over Japan in 1945. He served with the XX Bomber Command
XX Bomber Command
The XX Bomber Command is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with Far East Air Forces, based on Okinawa. It was inactivated on July 16, 1945.- History:...

 under General Curtis LeMay
Curtis LeMay
Curtis Emerson LeMay was a general in the United States Air Force and the vice presidential running mate of American Independent Party candidate George Wallace in 1968....

, who would be his running mate in the 1968 presidential race
United States presidential election, 1968
The United States presidential election of 1968 was the 46th quadrennial United States presidential election. Coming four years after Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson won in a historic landslide, it saw Johnson forced out of the race and Republican Richard Nixon elected...

. While in the service, Wallace nearly died of spinal meningitis, but prompt medical attention with sulfa drugs saved him. He was left with partial hearing loss and nerve damage; he was medically discharged with a disability pension.

Entry into politics

In 1938, at age nineteen, Wallace contributed to his grandfather's successful campaign for probate judge. Late in 1945, he was appointed as one of the assistant attorneys general of Alabama, and in May 1946, he won his first election as a member to the Alabama House of Representatives
Alabama House of Representatives
The Alabama House of Representatives is the lower house of the Alabama Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Alabama. The House is composed of 105 members representing an equal amount of districts, with each constituency containing at least 42,380 citizens. There are no term...

. At the time, he was considered a moderate on racial issues. As a delegate to the 1948 Democratic National Convention
1948 Democratic National Convention
The 1948 Democratic National Convention was held at Convention Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from July 12 to July 14, and resulted in the nominations of incumbent Harry S Truman for President and U.S. Senator Alben W...

, he did not join the Dixiecrat
Dixiecrat
The States' Rights Democratic Party was a short-lived segregationist political party in the United States in 1948...

 walkout at the convention, despite his opposition to President Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

's proposed civil rights program, which he considered an infringement on states' rights
States' rights
States' rights in U.S. politics refers to political powers reserved for the U.S. state governments rather than the federal government. It is often considered a loaded term because of its use in opposition to federally mandated racial desegregation...

. In his 1963 inauguration as governor, Wallace excused this action on political grounds.

In 1952, he became the Circuit Judge of the Third Judicial Circuit
Courts of Alabama
Courts of Alabama include:State courts of Alabama*Alabama Supreme Court**Alabama Court of Civil Appeals**Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals***Alabama Circuit Courts ****Alabama District Courts...

 in Alabama. Here he became known as "the fighting little judge," a nod to his past boxing association. He gained a reputation for fairness regardless of the race of the plaintiff, and J. L. Chestnut, a black lawyer, recalled, "Judge George Wallace was the most liberal judge that I had ever practiced law in front of. He was the first judge in Alabama to call me 'Mister' in a courtroom."At the time, it was common practice for judges in the area to refer to black lawyers by their first names, while their white colleagues were addressed formally as "Mister". On the other hand, "Wallace was the first Southern judge to issue an injunction against removal of segregation signs in railroad terminals." Wallace blocked federal efforts to review Barbour County voting lists, for which he was cited for criminal contempt of court in 1959. Wallace also granted probation to some blacks, which may have cost him the 1958 gubernatorial election.

Failed run for governor

He was defeated by John Patterson
John Malcolm Patterson
John Malcolm Patterson is an American politician who was the 44th Governor of Alabama, from 1959 to 1963. Previously he served as State Attorney General ....

 in Alabama's Democratic gubernatorial primary election
Primary election
A primary election is an election in which party members or voters select candidates for a subsequent election. Primary elections are one means by which a political party nominates candidates for the next general election....

 in 1958, which at the time was the decisive election, the general election still almost always being a mere formality. This was a political crossroads for Wallace. Patterson ran with the support of the Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and informally known as the Klan, is the name of three distinct past and present far-right organizations in the United States, which have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy, white nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically...

, an organization Wallace had spoken against, while Wallace was endorsed by the NAACP. After the election, aide Seymore Trammell recalled Wallace saying, "Seymore, you know why I lost that governor's race?... I was outniggered by John Patterson. And I'll tell you here and now, I will never be outniggered again."Carter (1996, p. 2) notes that Wallace would later deny a similar quote that appeared in a 1968 biography by Marshall Frady: Well boys,' he said tightly as he snuffed out his cigar, 'no other son-of-a-bitch will ever out-nigger me again.


In the wake of his defeat, Wallace "made a Faustian bargain
Deal with the Devil
Deal With The Devil is the fifth studio album by the American heavy metal band Lizzy Borden released in 2000 .A return to form, featuring a cover by Todd McFarlane.2 covers were recorded...

," said Emory University
Emory University
Emory University is a private research university in metropolitan Atlanta, located in the Druid Hills section of unincorporated DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. The university was founded as Emory College in 1836 in Oxford, Georgia by a small group of Methodists and was named in honor of...

 professor Dan Carter. "In order to survive and get ahead politically in the '60s, he sold his soul to the devil on race." He adopted hard-line segregationism, and used this stand to court the white vote in the next gubernatorial election. When a supporter asked why he started using racist messages, Wallace replied, "You know, I tried to talk about good roads and good schools and all these things that have been part of my career, and nobody listened. And then I began talking about niggers, and they stomped the floor."

Segregation

Wallace was elected governor in a landslide victory in November 1962. He took the oath of office
Oath of office
An oath of office is an oath or affirmation a person takes before undertaking the duties of an office, usually a position in government or within a religious body, although such oaths are sometimes required of officers of other organizations...

 on January 14, 1963, standing on the gold star marking the spot where, 102 years earlier, Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Finis Davis , also known as Jeff Davis, was an American statesman and leader of the Confederacy during the American Civil War, serving as President for its entire history. He was born in Kentucky to Samuel and Jane Davis...

 was sworn in as President of the Confederate States of America
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

. In his inaugural speech
George Wallace's 1963 Inaugural Address
George Wallace's 1963 Inaugural Address was delivered January 14, 1963, following his election as Governor of Alabama. Wallace at this time in his career was an ardent segregationist, and as Governor he challenged the attempts of the federal government to enforce laws prohibiting segregation in...

, he used the line for which he is best known:
The line, based on a bible quote, was written by Wallace's new speechwriter, Asa Earl Carter
Asa Earl Carter
Asa Earl Carter was an American political speechwriter and author. He was most notable for publishing novels and a best-selling, award-winning memoir under the name Forrest Carter, an identity as a Native American Cherokee...

.

To stop desegregation
Desegregation
Desegregation is the process of ending the separation of two groups usually referring to races. This is most commonly used in reference to the United States. Desegregation was long a focus of the American Civil Rights Movement, both before and after the United States Supreme Court's decision in...

 by the enrollment of black students Vivian Malone and James Hood
James Hood
James Hood was one of the first African Americans to enroll at the University of Alabama in 1963 and was made famous when Alabama Governor George Wallace blocked him from enrolling at the all-white university....

, he stood in front of Foster Auditorium
Foster Auditorium
Foster Auditorium is a multi-purpose facility at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It was built in 1939 and has been used for Alabama basketball, women's sports , graduations, lectures, concerts, and other large gatherings, including registration...

 at the University of Alabama
University of Alabama
The University of Alabama is a public coeducational university located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States....

 on June 11, 1963. This became known as the "Stand in the Schoolhouse Door
Stand in the Schoolhouse Door
The Stand in the Schoolhouse Door took place at Foster Auditorium at the University of Alabama on June 11, 1963. George Wallace, the Governor of Alabama, in a symbolic attempt to keep his inaugural promise of "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever" and stop the desegregation of...

". After being confronted by federal marshals
United States Marshals Service
The United States Marshals Service is a United States federal law enforcement agency within the United States Department of Justice . The office of U.S. Marshal is the oldest federal law enforcement office in the United States; it was created by the Judiciary Act of 1789...

, Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach
Nicholas Katzenbach
Nicholas deBelleville Katzenbach is an American lawyer who served as United States Attorney General during the Lyndon B. Johnson administration.-Early life:...

, and the Alabama National Guard
Alabama Army National Guard
The Alabama Army National Guard is a component of the United States Army and the United States National Guard. Nationwide, the Army National Guard comprises approximately one half of the US Army's available combat forces and approximately one third of its support organization...

, he stood aside.

Wallace again attempted to stop four black students from enrolling in four separate elementary schools in Huntsville
Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville is a city located primarily in Madison County in the central part of the far northern region of the U.S. state of Alabama. Huntsville is the county seat of Madison County. The city extends west into neighboring Limestone County. Huntsville's population was 180,105 as of the 2010 Census....

 in September 1963. After intervention by a federal court in Birmingham
Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama. The city is the county seat of Jefferson County. According to the 2010 United States Census, Birmingham had a population of 212,237. The Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area, in estimate by the U.S...

, the four children were allowed to enter on September 9, becoming the first to integrate a primary or secondary school in Alabama.

Wallace disapproved vehemently of the desegregation of the state of Alabama and wanted desperately for his state to remain segregated. In his own words: "The President (John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

) wants us to surrender this state to Martin Luther King and his group of pro-Communists who have instituted these demonstrations."

Economics and education

The principal achievement of Wallace's first term was an innovation in Alabama industrial development that several other states later copied: he was the first Southern
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 governor to travel to corporate headquarters in Northern
Northern United States
Northern United States, also sometimes the North, may refer to:* A particular grouping of states or regions of the United States of America. The United States Census Bureau divides some of the northernmost United States into the Midwest Region and the Northeast Region...

 and Northeastern
Northeastern United States
The Northeastern United States is a region of the United States as defined by the United States Census Bureau.-Composition:The region comprises nine states: the New England states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont; and the Mid-Atlantic states of New...

 states to offer tax abatements and other incentives to companies willing to locate plants in Alabama.

He also initiated a junior college
Junior college
The term junior college refers to different educational institutions in different countries.-India:In India, most states provide schooling through 12th grade...

 system that is now spread throughout the state, preparing many students to complete four-year degrees at Auburn University
Auburn University
Auburn University is a public university located in Auburn, Alabama, United States. With more than 25,000 students and 1,200 faculty members, it is one of the largest universities in the state. Auburn was chartered on February 7, 1856, as the East Alabama Male College, a private liberal arts...

, UAB, or the University of Alabama
University of Alabama
The University of Alabama is a public coeducational university located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States....

.

The University of South Alabama
University of South Alabama
The University of South Alabama is a public, doctoral-level university in Mobile, Alabama, USA. It was created by the Alabama Legislature in 1963, and replaced existing extension programs operated in Mobile by the University of Alabama. No other areas of the state were willing to support such a...

, a new state university in Mobile, was chartered in 1963 during Wallace's first year in office as governor.

Democratic presidential primaries of 1964

In November 15–20 of 1963, in the City of Dallas, Texas, George C. Wallace announced that he had intended to challenge the then 35th U.S. President, John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

, for the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

's nomination as candidate for U.S. President for the November 1964 general election
United States presidential election, 1964
The United States presidential election of 1964 was held on November 3, 1964. Incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson had come to office less than a year earlier following the assassination of his predecessor, John F. Kennedy. Johnson, who had successfully associated himself with Kennedy's...

.

Building upon his newfound public image following the University of Alabama controversy, Wallace entered the Democratic primaries
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 on the advice of a public relations expert from Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

. Wallace campaigned strongly by expressing his opposition on integration and a tough on crime platform. In Democratic primaries
United States presidential primary
The series of presidential primary elections and caucuses is one of the first steps in the process of electing the President of the United States of America. The primary elections are run by state and local governments, while caucuses are private events run by the political parties...

 in Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

, Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

 and Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

, he won a third of the vote in each state.

Wallace was known for stirring up crowds with his oratory. The Huntsville Times interviewed Bill Jones, Wallace's first press secretary, who recounted "a particularly fiery speech in Cincinnati in 1964 that scared even Wallace." "Wallace angrily shouted to a crowd of 1000 that 'little pinkos' were 'running around outside' protesting his visit, and continued, after thunderous applause, Wallace said, "When you and I start marching and demonstrating and carrying signs, we will close every highway in the country." The audience leapt to their feet "and headed for the exit." Jones said, "It shook Wallace. He quickly moved to calm them down."

At graduation in the Spring of 1964, Bob Jones University
Bob Jones University
Bob Jones University is a private, for-profit, non-denominational Protestant university in Greenville, South Carolina.The university was founded in 1927 by Bob Jones, Sr. , an evangelist and contemporary of Billy Sunday...

 honored Wallace with an honorary doctorate. At the commencement, Bob Jones, Jr.
Bob Jones, Jr.
Robert Reynolds Jones, Jr. was the second president and chancellor of Bob Jones University. Born in Montgomery, Alabama, Jones was the son of Bob Jones, Sr., the university's founder...

 read the following citation as a tribute to Wallace:

First Gentleman of Alabama

Term limit
Term limit
A term limit is a legal restriction that limits the number of terms a person may serve in a particular elected office. When term limits are found in presidential and semi-presidential systems they act as a method to curb the potential for monopoly, where a leader effectively becomes "president for...

s in the Alabama Constitution
Alabama Constitution
The Constitution of the State of Alabama is the basic governing document of the U.S. state of Alabama. It was adopted in 1901 and is the sixth constitution that the state has had....

 prevented Wallace from seeking a second term in 1966. Therefore, Wallace had his wife, Lurleen Wallace
Lurleen Wallace
Lurleen Brigham Wallace , born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was the 46th Governor of Alabama from 1967 until her death in 1968. She was the first wife of Alabama Governor George Wallace, whom she succeeded as governor. She succeeded her husband as he was forbidden by Alabama law to succeed himself. She...

, run for the office as a surrogate candidate
Power behind the throne
The phrase power behind the throne refers to a person or group that informally exercises the real power of an office. In politics, it most commonly refers to a spouse, aide, or advisor of a political leader who serves as de facto leader, setting policy through influence or manipulation.The...

. Largely due to the work of Wallace's supporters, the Alabama restriction was later repealed.

Mrs. Wallace won the election in the fall of 1966 and was inaugurated in January 1967. However, she died in office on May 7, 1968, of cancer, during her husband's second presidential campaign. She was succeeded by Lieutenant Governor Albert Brewer
Albert Brewer
Albert Preston Brewer is an American politician who was the 47th Governor of Alabama from May 7, 1968 until January 18, 1971.-Life and political career:...

, reducing Wallace's influence until his new bid for election in his own right in November 1970.

1968 third party presidential run

Wallace ran for President in the 1968 election as the American Independent Party
American Independent Party
The American Independent Party is a right-wing political party of the United States that was established in 1967 by Bill and Eileen Shearer. In 1968, the American Independent Party nominated George C. Wallace as its presidential candidate and retired Air Force General Curtis E. LeMay as the vice...

 candidate. He hoped to force the House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 to decide the election by receiving enough electoral votes, presumably giving him the role of a power broker
Power broker (term)
A power broker is a person who can influence people to vote towards a particular client in exchange for political or financial benefits. Power brokers can also negotiate deals with other power brokers to meet their aims....

. Wallace hoped that southern states could use their clout to end federal
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 efforts at desegregation
Desegregation
Desegregation is the process of ending the separation of two groups usually referring to races. This is most commonly used in reference to the United States. Desegregation was long a focus of the American Civil Rights Movement, both before and after the United States Supreme Court's decision in...

. His platform contained generous increases for beneficiaries of Social Security
Social Security (United States)
In the United States, Social Security refers to the federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance program.The original Social Security Act and the current version of the Act, as amended encompass several social welfare and social insurance programs...

 and Medicare
Medicare (United States)
Medicare is a social insurance program administered by the United States government, providing health insurance coverage to people who are aged 65 and over; to those who are under 65 and are permanently physically disabled or who have a congenital physical disability; or to those who meet other...

. Wallace's foreign policy positions set him apart from the other candidates in the field. "If the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 was not winnable within 90 days of his taking office, Wallace pledged an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops...Wallace also called foreign aid money 'poured down a rat hole' and demanded that European and Asian allies pay more for their defense."

Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 worried that Wallace might split the conservative vote and allow the Democratic candidate, Vice President
Vice president
A vice president is an officer in government or business who is below a president in rank. The name comes from the Latin vice meaning 'in place of'. In some countries, the vice president is called the deputy president...

 Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. , served under President Lyndon B. Johnson as the 38th Vice President of the United States. Humphrey twice served as a United States Senator from Minnesota, and served as Democratic Majority Whip. He was a founder of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and...

, to win. Some Democrats feared Wallace's appeal to blue-collar workers and union members would hurt Humphrey in Northern states like Ohio, New Jersey, and Michigan. Wallace ran a "law and order
Law and order (politics)
In politics, law and order refers to demands for a strict criminal justice system, especially in relation to violent and property crime, through harsher criminal penalties...

" campaign similar to Nixon's, further incensing Republicans.

In Wallace's 1998 obituary, Huntsville Times political editor John Anderson summarized the impact from the 1968 campaign, saying, "His startling appeal to millions of alienated white voters was not lost on Richard Nixon and other GOP strategists. First Nixon, then Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

, and finally George H.W. Bush successfully adopted a toned-down version of Wallace's anti-busing, anti-federal government platform to pry low and middle-income whites from the Democratic New Deal coalition." Dan Carter, a professor of history at Emory University
Emory University
Emory University is a private research university in metropolitan Atlanta, located in the Druid Hills section of unincorporated DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. The university was founded as Emory College in 1836 in Oxford, Georgia by a small group of Methodists and was named in honor of...

 in Atlanta offered, "George Wallace laid the foundation for the dominance of the Republican Party in American society through the manipulation of racial and social issues in the 1960s and 1970s. He was the master teacher and Richard Nixon and the Republican leadership that followed were his students."

Wallace considered Happy Chandler
Happy Chandler
Albert Benjamin "Happy" Chandler, Sr. was a politician from the US state of Kentucky. He represented the state in the U.S. Senate and served as its 44th and 49th governor. Aside from his political positions, he also served as the second Commissioner of Major League Baseball from 1945 to 1951 and...

, the former baseball commissioner
Baseball Commissioner
The Commissioner of Baseball is the chief executive of Major League Baseball and its associated minor leagues. Under the direction of the Commissioner, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball hires and maintains the sport's umpiring crews, and negotiates marketing, labor, and television contracts...

 and governor of Kentucky, as his running mate in his 1968 campaign for the Presidency as a third party candidate; as one of Wallace's aides put it, "We have all the nuts in the country; we could get some decent people–-you working one side of the street and he working the other side." Wallace invited Chandler, but when the press published the prospect, Wallace's supporters objected: Chandler had supported the hiring of Jackie Robinson
Jackie Robinson
Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson was the first black Major League Baseball player of the modern era. Robinson broke the baseball color line when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947...

 by the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Wallace retracted the invitation, and (after considering Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Colonel Sanders
Colonel Sanders
Harland David "Colonel" Sanders was an American fast food businessman who founded the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant chain, now re-branded as KFC...

) chose Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 General Curtis LeMay
Curtis LeMay
Curtis Emerson LeMay was a general in the United States Air Force and the vice presidential running mate of American Independent Party candidate George Wallace in 1968....

. LeMay was considered instrumental in the establishment of the modern U.S. Air Force, and an expert in military affairs. His four-star military rank, experience at Strategic Air Command
Strategic Air Command
The Strategic Air Command was both a Major Command of the United States Air Force and a "specified command" of the United States Department of Defense. SAC was the operational establishment in charge of America's land-based strategic bomber aircraft and land-based intercontinental ballistic...

 and presence advising President Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis
The Cuban Missile Crisis was a confrontation among the Soviet Union, Cuba and the United States in October 1962, during the Cold War...

 were considered foreign-policy assets to the Wallace campaign. By 1968, LeMay had retired and was serving as chairman of the board of an electronics company, but the company threatened to dismiss him if he took a leave of absence to run for vice president. To keep LeMay on the ticket, Wallace backer and Texas oil tycoon H.L. Hunt set up a million-dollar fund to reimburse LeMay for any income lost in the campaign. At this time, LeMay was best known to the American public as an enthusiastic proponent of the use of nuclear weapons in war. Campaign aides tried to persuade him to avoid questions relating to the topic, but when asked about it at his first interview, he attempted to dispel American "phobias about nuclear weapons" and discussed radioactive land crabs at Bikini atoll
Bikini Atoll
Bikini Atoll is an atoll, listed as a World Heritage Site, in the Micronesian Islands of the Pacific Ocean, part of Republic of the Marshall Islands....

. The issue became a drag on Wallace's candidacy for the rest of the campaign.
In 1968, when Wallace pledged that "If some anarchist lies down in front of my automobile, it will be the last automobile he will ever lie down in front of," and asserted that the only four letter words of which hippies did not know were w-o-r-k
Employment
Employment is a contract between two parties, one being the employer and the other being the employee. An employee may be defined as:- Employee :...

 and s-o-a-p
Soap
In chemistry, soap is a salt of a fatty acid.IUPAC. "" Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. . Compiled by A. D. McNaught and A. Wilkinson. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford . XML on-line corrected version: created by M. Nic, J. Jirat, B. Kosata; updates compiled by A. Jenkins. ISBN...

; his rhetoric became famous. He accused Humphrey and Nixon of wanting to radically desegregate the South. Wallace said, "There's not a dime's worth of difference between the Republicans and Democrats."

Major media outlets
News media
The news media are those elements of the mass media that focus on delivering news to the general public or a target public.These include print media , broadcast news , and more recently the Internet .-Etymology:A medium is a carrier of something...

 observed the support Wallace received from extremist groups such as White Citizens' Council
White Citizens' Council
The White Citizens' Council was an American white supremacist organization formed on July 11, 1954. After 1956, it was known as the Citizens' Councils of America...

s. It has been noted that members of such groups had permeated the Wallace campaign by 1968 and, while Wallace did not openly seek their support, nor did he refuse it. Indeed, at least one case has been documented of the pro-Nazi and white supremacist Liberty Lobby
Liberty Lobby
Liberty Lobby was an American political advocacy organization founded in 1958 that went bankrupt in 2001. It was founded by Willis Carto. In their own words,-Antisemitic world-view:...

 distributing a pro-Wallace pamphlet entitled "Stand up for America" despite the campaign's denial of such a connection.

While Wallace carried five Southern states and won almost ten million popular votes, Nixon received 301 electoral votes, more than needed to win the election. Wallace remains the last non-Democratic, non-Republican candidate to win any electoral votes. He was the first person to accomplish this since Harry F. Byrd
Harry F. Byrd
Harry Flood Byrd, Sr. of Berryville in Clarke County, Virginia, was an American newspaper publisher, farmer and politician. He was a descendant of one of the First Families of Virginia...

, an independent segregationist candidate in the 1960 presidential election. (John Hospers
John Hospers
John Hospers was an American philosopher. In 1972 he was the first presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party, and the only minor party candidate to receive an electoral vote in the 1972 U.S. Presidential election....

 in 1972, Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 in 1976, Lloyd Bentsen
Lloyd Bentsen
Lloyd Millard Bentsen, Jr. was a four-term United States senator from Texas and the Democratic Party nominee for Vice President in 1988 on the Michael Dukakis ticket. He also served in the House of Representatives from 1949 to 1955. In his later political life, he was Chairman of the Senate...

 in 1988 and John Edwards
John Edwards
Johnny Reid "John" Edwards is an American politician, who served as a U.S. Senator from North Carolina. He was the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 2004, and was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008.He defeated incumbent Republican Lauch Faircloth in...

 in 2004 all received one electoral vote from faithless elector
Faithless elector
In United States presidential elections, a faithless elector is a member of the Electoral College who does not vote for the candidate they have pledged to vote for...

s, but none "won" these votes.) Wallace also received the vote of one North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

 elector who was pledged to Nixon.

Many found Wallace an entertaining campaigner. To "hippies" who called him a fascist, he replied, "I was killing fascists when you punks were in diapers." Another quote: "They're building a bridge over the Potomac
Potomac River
The Potomac River flows into the Chesapeake Bay, located along the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States. The river is approximately long, with a drainage area of about 14,700 square miles...

 for all the white liberals fleeing to Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

."

Wallace decried the Supreme Court opinion in Alexander v. Holmes County Board of Education, which ordered immediate desegregation of Southern schools - he said the new Burger court was "no better than the Warren court" and called the justices "limousine hypocrites."

Second term as governor

In 1970, Wallace faced incumbent Governor Albert Brewer
Albert Brewer
Albert Preston Brewer is an American politician who was the 47th Governor of Alabama from May 7, 1968 until January 18, 1971.-Life and political career:...

, who was the first gubernatorial candidate since Reconstruction to openly court black voters.
Brewer unveiled a progressive platform and worked to build an alliance between blacks and the white working class. He said of Wallace's out of state trips, "Alabama needs a full-time governor."

To weaken the prospects of a Wallace presidential campaign in 1972, President Nixon backed Brewer and arranged an Internal Revenue Service
Internal Revenue Service
The Internal Revenue Service is the revenue service of the United States federal government. The agency is a bureau of the Department of the Treasury, and is under the immediate direction of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue...

 investigation in the Wallace campaign. In the primary, Brewer got the most votes but failed to win an outright majority, triggering a run-off election.

In what Former President Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

 calls "one of the most racist campaigns in modern southern political history," the Wallace campaign aired TV ads with slogans such as "Do you want the black block electing your governor?" and circulated an ad showing a white girl surrounded by seven black boys, with the slogan "Wake Up Alabama! Blacks vow to take over Alabama." Wallace called Brewer "Sissy
Sissy
Sissy is a pejorative term for a boy or man who violates or does not meet the traditional male gender role. Generally, sissy implies a lack of the courage and stoicism which are thought important to the male role...

 Britches" and promised not to run for president a third time.

Wallace defeated Brewer in the runoff. The day after the election, he flew to Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

 to campaign for the White House. Wallace, whose presidential ambitions would have been destroyed by a defeat, has been said to have run "one of the nastiest campaigns in state history," using racist rhetoric while proposing few ideas of his own.

Democratic presidential primaries of 1972 and assassination attempt

On 13 January 1972, Wallace declared himself a candidate
Democratic Party (United States) presidential primaries, 1972
The 1972 Democratic presidential primaries were the selection process by which voters of the Democratic Party chose its nominee for President of the United States in the 1972 U.S. presidential election...

, entering the field with George McGovern
George McGovern
George Stanley McGovern is an historian, author, and former U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator, and the Democratic Party nominee in the 1972 presidential election....

, 1968 nominee Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. , served under President Lyndon B. Johnson as the 38th Vice President of the United States. Humphrey twice served as a United States Senator from Minnesota, and served as Democratic Majority Whip. He was a founder of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and...

, and nine other Democratic opponents. In Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

's primary, Wallace carried every county to win 42 percent of the vote. When running, Wallace claimed he was no longer for segregation, and that he had always been a moderate. Though no longer in favor of segregation, Wallace was opposed to desegregation busing during his campaign. This was a position Nixon, who had instituted the first Affirmative Action program in 1969 with the Philadelphia Plan that established goals and timetables, would oppose early on as President.

For the next four months, Wallace's campaign went extremely well among conservatives. However, Wallace was shot five times by Arthur Bremer
Arthur Bremer
Arthur Herman Bremer is an American convicted for an assassination attempt on U.S. Democratic presidential candidate George Wallace on May 15, 1972 in Laurel, Maryland, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down for the rest of his life...

 while campaigning in Laurel, Maryland
Laurel, Maryland
Laurel is a city in northern Prince George's County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County, Maryland, United States, located midway between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. Incorporated in 1870, the city maintains a historic district including its Main Street...

, on May 15, 1972, at a time when he was receiving high ratings in the opinion polls. Bremer was seen at a Wallace rally in Wheaton, Maryland
Wheaton, Maryland
Wheaton is an unincorporated, urbanized area in Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, north of Washington, D.C., northwest of Silver Spring. Wheaton takes its name from Frank Wheaton , a career officer in the United States Army and volunteer from Rhode Island in the Union Army who rose to the rank of...

, earlier that day and two days earlier at a rally in Dearborn, Michigan
Dearborn, Michigan
-Economy:Ford Motor Company has its world headquarters in Dearborn. In addition its Dearborn campus contains many research, testing, finance and some production facilities. Ford Land controls the numerous properties owned by Ford including sales and leasing to unrelated businesses such as the...

. Wallace was hit in the abdomen and chest, and as one of the bullets lodged in Wallace's spinal column
Spinal cord
The spinal cord is a long, thin, tubular bundle of nervous tissue and support cells that extends from the brain . The brain and spinal cord together make up the central nervous system...

, Wallace was left paralyzed
Paralysis
Paralysis is loss of muscle function for one or more muscles. Paralysis can be accompanied by a loss of feeling in the affected area if there is sensory damage as well as motor. A study conducted by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, suggests that about 1 in 50 people have been diagnosed...

 from the waist down for the rest of his life. A five-hour operation was needed that evening and Wallace received several pints of blood to survive. Three others were wounded in the shooting and also survived. Bremer's diary, An Assassin's Diary
An Assassin's Diary
An Assassin's Diary is the title of a book released in 1973 which was based on part of the diary of Arthur Bremer, the would-be assassin of Alabama Governor George Wallace...

, published after his arrest shows the assassination
Assassination
To carry out an assassination is "to murder by a sudden and/or secret attack, often for political reasons." Alternatively, assassination may be defined as "the act of deliberately killing someone, especially a public figure, usually for hire or for political reasons."An assassination may be...

 attempt was motivated by a desire for fame, not by politics, and that President Nixon had been an earlier target. Bremer was sentenced to sixty-three years in prison on August 4, 1972, later reduced to fifty-three years two months later. Bremer served thirty-five years and was released on parole on November 9, 2007. Wallace forgave Bremer 23 years later, in August 1995, and wrote to him, but Bremer never replied. Bremer's actions inspired the screenplay (1972) for the 1976 movie Taxi Driver
Taxi Driver
Taxi Driver is a 1976 American drama film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Paul Schrader. The film is set in New York City, soon after the Vietnam War. The film stars Robert De Niro and features Jodie Foster, Harvey Keitel, and Cybill Shepherd. The film was nominated for four Academy...

which in turn inspired the assassination attempt on the life of President Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 by John Hinckley, Jr.
John Hinckley, Jr.
John Warnock Hinckley, Jr., attempted to assassinate U.S. President Ronald Reagan in Washington, D.C., on March 30, 1981, as the culmination of an effort to impress teen actress Jodie Foster. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity and has remained under institutional psychiatric care since...

 in 1981. The 1975 film Nashville also featured a character, played by David Hayward
David Hayward
Dr. David Hayward is a fictional character from the ABC daytime drama All My Children, as portrayed by Vincent Irizarry from: November 27, 1997 - March 2, 1998, July 8, 1998 - November 28, 2006, October 23, 2008 - September 13, 2010, and returned on November 22, 2010.The character has been a top...

, of whom many believe was based on Bremer.

Following the assassination attempt, Wallace was visited at the hospital by Democratic Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm
Shirley Chisholm
Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm was an American politician, educator, and author. She was a Congresswoman, representing New York's 12th Congressional District for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. In 1968, she became the first black woman elected to Congress...

, a representative from Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn
Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn
Bedford-Stuyvesant is a neighborhood in the central portion of the New York City borough of Brooklyn. Formed in 1930, the neighborhood is part of Brooklyn Community Board 3, Brooklyn Community Board 8 and Brooklyn Community Board 16. The neighborhood is patrolled by the NYPD's 79th and 81st...

 who at the time was the nation's only African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 female member of Congress. Despite their ideological differences and the opposition of Chisholm's constituents, Chisholm felt that to visit Wallace was the humane thing to do.

Following the shooting, Wallace won primaries in Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

 and Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

, but his near assassination effectively ended his campaign. From his wheelchair, Wallace spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Miami
Miami, Florida
Miami is a city located on the Atlantic coast in southeastern Florida and the county seat of Miami-Dade County, the most populous county in Florida and the eighth-most populous county in the United States with a population of 2,500,625...

 on July 11, 1972.

Since Wallace was out of Alabama for more than twenty days while he was recovering in Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Maryland
Silver Spring, Maryland
Silver Spring is an unincorporated area and census-designated place in Montgomery County, Maryland, United States. It had a population of 71,452 at the 2010 census, making it the fourth most populous place in Maryland, after Baltimore, Columbia, and Germantown.The urbanized, oldest, and...

, the state constitution
Alabama Constitution
The Constitution of the State of Alabama is the basic governing document of the U.S. state of Alabama. It was adopted in 1901 and is the sixth constitution that the state has had....

 required Lieutenant Governor Jere Beasley to serve as acting governor
Acting governor
An acting governor is a constitutional position created in some U.S. states when the governor dies in office or resigns. In some states, the governor may also be declared to be incapacitated and unable to function for various reasons, including illness and absence from the state for more than a...

 from June 5 until Wallace's return to Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

 on July 7. Wallace never returned to Maryland. He continued serving as governor, and easily won the gubernatorial primary election
Primary election
A primary election is an election in which party members or voters select candidates for a subsequent election. Primary elections are one means by which a political party nominates candidates for the next general election....

 of 1974.

In 1992, asked to comment on the 20th anniversary of his attempted assassination, Wallace said, "I've had 20 years of pain."

Democratic presidential primaries of 1976

Wallace announced his fourth bid for the presidency
Democratic Party (United States) presidential primaries, 1976
The 1976 Democratic presidential primaries were the selection process by which voters of the Democratic Party chose its nominee for President of the United States in the 1976 U.S. presidential election...

 in November 1975. The campaign was plagued by voter concern about his health, as well as the media's use of images that portrayed him as helpless. His supporters complained that such coverage was motivated by bias, citing the discretion used in coverage of Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

's paralysis, before television became commercially available. In the Southern primaries and caucuses, Wallace carried only Mississippi, South Carolina and his home state of Alabama. If the popular vote in all primaries and caucuses were combined, Wallace would have placed third behind Jimmy Carter and California Governor Jerry Brown. After the primaries were completed and he had lost several Southern primaries to former Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

 governor Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

, Wallace dropped out, in June 1976. He eventually endorsed Carter, and later claimed that he had facilitated a Southerner's nomination; however, no position advocated by Wallace was included in the 1976 Democratic platform.

Change of positions

Wallace announced that he was a born-again Christian in the late 1970s, and apologized to black civil rights leaders for his earlier segregationist positions. He said that while he had once sought power and glory, he realized he needed to seek love and forgiveness.According to Carter (1995, pp. 236-37), "But no one who knew Wallace well ever took seriously his earnest profession - uttered a thousand times after 1963 - that he [had been] a segregationist, not a racist. ... Wallace, like most white southerners of his generation, [had] genuinely believed blacks to be a separate, inferior race." In 1979, Wallace said of his stand in the schoolhouse door: "I was wrong. Those days are over and they ought to be over." His final term as Governor (1983–1987) saw a record number of black appointments to government positions. Also in his final term, Wallace was the first governor to appoint two black members in the same cabinet, a number that has been equalled but never surpassed. In the 1982 Alabama gubernatorial Democratic primary, Wallace's main opponents were Lieutenant Governor George McMillan
George McMillan
George Duncan Hastie McMillan, Jr. is an American Democratic politician who served as the 23rd Lieutenant Governor of Alabama from 1979 to 1983. In 1989 he founded the City Stages music festival in downtown Birmingham, Alabama....

 and Alabama House Speaker Joe McCorquodale
Joe McCorquodale
Joe McCorquodale, Jr. is a United States politician from Alabama, who served as the Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives and unsuccessfully ran for Governor on the basis of the "McCorquodale plan" for Alabama. He is a member of Democratic Party....

. In the primary, McCorquodale was eliminated, and the vote went to a runoff
Two-round system
The two-round system is a voting system used to elect a single winner where the voter casts a single vote for their chosen candidate...

 with Wallace holding a slight edge over McMillan. Wallace won the Democratic nomination by a margin of 51 to 49 percent.

In the general election, his opponent was Montgomery Republican mayor Emory Folmar
Emory Folmar
Emory McCord Folmar was the mayor of Montgomery, Alabama from 1977 to 1999. Although the mayor's office is nonpartisan, Folmar was known to be a Republican...

. Polling experts said this was the best chance since Reconstruction for a Republican to be elected Alabama governor. However, it was Wallace who made the victory speech on Election Night.

George Wallace achieved four gubernatorial terms across three decades, totaling 16 years in office.

Marriages and children

Wallace's first wife, Lurleen Burns Wallace
Lurleen Wallace
Lurleen Brigham Wallace , born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was the 46th Governor of Alabama from 1967 until her death in 1968. She was the first wife of Alabama Governor George Wallace, whom she succeeded as governor. She succeeded her husband as he was forbidden by Alabama law to succeed himself. She...

, died shortly after becoming the first (and, as of 2011, only) woman to be elected as governor of Alabama in 1966. (In 1961, in keeping with the custom of the time to shield patients from the emotional impact of discussion of cancer, Wallace had withheld information from her that a uterine biopsy had found possibly precancerous cells.) They had four children together: Bobbi Jo (1944) Parsons, Peggy Sue (1950) Kennedy, George III, known as George Junior (1951), and Lee (1961) Dye, who was named after Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee
Robert Edward Lee was a career military officer who is best known for having commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War....

. After her death the couple's younger children, aged 18, 16, and 6, were sent to live with family members and friends for care (their eldest daughter had already married and left home). Their son, commonly called George Wallace, Jr.
George Wallace, Jr.
George Corley Wallace, III is an American politician from Alabama.-Personal life:...

, is a Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 active in Alabama politics. He was twice elected State Treasurer as a Democrat, and twice elected to the state Public Service Commission
Alabama Public Service Commission
The Alabama Public Service Commission, commonly called The PSC, was established by an act of The Alabama Legislature in 1915 to primarily replace the State Railroad Commission. The PSC's responsibility was expanded in 1920 to include regulating and setting rates that utility companies charge their...

.

On January 4, 1971, Wallace wed the former Cornelia Ellis Snively
Cornelia Wallace
Cornelia Ellis Wallace, previously Cornelia Ellis Snively , was the First Lady of Alabama from 1971–1978 and the second wife of Democratic Governor George C. Wallace . Mrs...

 (1939–2009), a niece of former Alabama Governor Jim Folsom
Jim Folsom
James Elisha Folsom, Sr. , commonly known as Jim Folsom or "Big Jim", was the 42nd Governor of the U.S. state of Alabama from 1947 to 1951, and again from 1955 to 1959. Born in Coffee County, Alabama, Folsom is perhaps best remembered as being among the first Southern governors to embrace...

, known as "Big Jim". The attractive "C'nelia" had been a performer and was nicknamed "the Jackie Kennedy of the rednecks." Her mother, the colorful and notorious Ruby Folsom, commented when told of the marriage: "Why, George ain't titty high." The couple had a bitter divorce in 1978. A few months after the divorce, she told Parade
Parade (magazine)
Parade is an American nationwide Sunday newspaper magazine, distributed in more than 500 newspapers in the United States. It was founded in 1941 and is owned by Advance Publications. The most widely read magazine in the U.S., Parade has a circulation of 32.2 million and a readership of nearly 70...

 magazine, "I don't believe George needs a family. He just needs an audience. The family as audience wasn't enough for his ego." The second Mrs. Wallace died on January 8, 2009, at the age of 69.

In 1981, Wallace married Lisa Taylor, a country music
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

 singer; they divorced in 1987.

Final years

In 1996, when asked by a reporter which contemporary American political figure he most admired, he paused thoughtfully for a moment, smiled, and said: "Myself."

At a restaurant a few blocks from the State Capitol, Wallace became something of a fixture. In constant pain, he was surrounded by an entourage of old friends and visiting well-wishers and continued this ritual until a few weeks before his death. Wallace died of septic shock
Septic shock
Septic shock is a medical emergency caused by decreased tissue perfusion and oxygen delivery as a result of severe infection and sepsis, though the microbe may be systemic or localized to a particular site. It can cause multiple organ dysfunction syndrome and death...

 from a bacterial infection in Jackson Hospital in Montgomery on September 13, 1998. He suffered from respiratory problems in addition to complications from his gunshot spinal injury. He is interred at Greenwood Cemetery in Montgomery.

The George Wallace Tunnel
George Wallace Tunnel
The George Wallace Tunnel is a tunnel along Interstate 10 in Mobile, Alabama that crosses beneath the Mobile River.It, like the smaller Bankhead Tunnel a few blocks upriver from it, was constructed in Mobile at the shipyards of the Alabama Drydock and Shipbuilding Company from 1969-1973...

 on Interstate 10
Interstate 10
Interstate 10 is the fourth-longest Interstate Highway in the United States, after I-90, I-80, and I-40. It is the southernmost east–west, coast-to-coast Interstate Highway, although I-4 and I-8 are further south. It stretches from the Pacific Ocean at State Route 1 in Santa Monica,...

 which traverses the Mobile Bay is named in his honor. Wallace was the subject of a documentary, George Wallace: Settin' the Woods on Fire, shown by PBS
Public Broadcasting Service
The Public Broadcasting Service is an American non-profit public broadcasting television network with 354 member TV stations in the United States which hold collective ownership. Its headquarters is in Arlington, Virginia....

 on The American Experience
American Experience
American Experience is a television program airing on the Public Broadcasting Service Public television stations in the United States. The program airs documentaries, many of which have won awards, about important or interesting events and people in American history...

in 2000. The TNT cable network also produced a movie George Wallace
George Wallace (film)
George Wallace is a 1997 television film starring Gary Sinise as George Wallace, the former Governor of Alabama. It was directed by John Frankenheimer, who won an Emmy award for it; Sinise and Mare Winningham also won Emmies for their performances...

in 1997, which was a John Frankenheimer
John Frankenheimer
John Michael Frankenheimer was an American film and television director known for social dramas and action/suspense films...

 film starring Gary Sinise
Gary Sinise
Gary Alan Sinise is an American actor, film director and musician. During his career, Sinise has won various awards including an Emmy and a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Academy Award. In 1992, Sinise directed, and played the role of George Milton in the successful film adaptation of...

, who would win an Emmy  for his performance as Wallace the very night of the real Wallace's death.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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