Alabama Ex-Gov. Wallace Dies at 79: Populist Sought Presidency 4 Times
George Corley Wallace, the Alabama politician whose shadow fell far beyond the segregated precincts of a South that is gone with the wind, died yesterday at the age of 79 in part from the lingering effects of a would-be assassin's bullet 26 years earlier.
Mr. Wallace, who was paralyzed below the waist by the assassination attempt, entered an Alabama hospital Thursday suffering breathing problems and septic shock caused by a severe bacterial infection, the Associated Press reported. He was hospitalized this summer with similar problems.
In recent years, Mr. Wallace had battled Parkinson's disease as well as the lingering effects of his wounds and had been hospitalized repeatedly. He was confined to a wheelchair after the assassination attempt and spent the last third of his life in great pain.
Elected to four terms as governor of Alabama, he became a national figure who was regarded by some historians as "the last major holdout" in the turbulent passage of his region out of the racial politics of the post-Civil War period.
By the time of his death, Mr. Wallace had disavowed the segregation he once championed and had been forgiven by many Alabama blacks, some of whom believed his views had been driven by political expediency rather than conviction.
An artful, charismatic orator, Mr. Wallace articulated the racial and anti-elitist resentments of working-class whites. Michael Barone, editor of "The Almanac of American Politics," described his …
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Publication information: Article title: Alabama Ex-Gov. Wallace Dies at 79: Populist Sought Presidency 4 Times. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: The Washington Times (Washington, DC). Publication date: September 14, 1998. Page number: 10. © 2009 The Washington Times LLC. COPYRIGHT 1998 Gale Group.
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