George Wallace

Wallace, George Corley

George Corley Wallace, 1919–98, governor of Alabama (1963–67, 1971–79, 1983–87), b. Clio, Ala. Admitted to the bar in 1942, he was active in the Alabama Democratic party, serving in the state assembly (1947–53) and as a district court judge (1953–59). In 1962 he won election as governor as an avowed segregationist, and promised to defy federal orders to integrate Alabama schools. In June, 1963, Wallace blocked two black students from entering the Univ. of Alabama, but capitulated when President Kennedy federalized the Alabama national guard. Prevented by state law from succeeding himself as governor in 1966, Wallace had his wife, Lurleen Burns Wallace, 1926–68, run successfully in his place. As a leading opponent of the civil-rights movement, Wallace campaigned for president in 1968 on a third-party ticket, capitalizing on racist and anti-Washington attitudes in both North and South to energize many. In 1970, he was reelected governor of Alabama. In 1972, he entered the Democratic presidential primaries; his campaign ended abruptly on May 15, when an assassination attempt by Arthur H. Bremer left him paralyzed below the waist. In 1974 Wallace was overwhelmingly reelected governor, and in 1976 he made another unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination. He later moved to reconcile with African Americans and recanted white supremacist positions, and in 1982 he was again elected governor, this time with the support of many black Alabamans; he retired in 1987.

See biographies by W. G. Jones (1966), M. Frady (1968), and S. Lesher (1994); study by D. T. Carter (1995).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

George Wallace: Selected full-text books and articles

Stand Up for Alabama: Governor George Wallace
Jeff Frederick.
University of Alabama Press, 2007
George Wallace, Richard Nixon, and the Transformation of American Politics
Dan T. Carter.
Markham Press Fund, 1992
The Politics of Unreason: Right Wing Extremism in America, 1790-1970
Seymour Martin Lipset; Earl Raab.
Harper & Row, 1970
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 9 "George Wallace and the New Nativism" and Chap. 10 "George Wallace: The Election and the Electorate"
The Populist Persuasion: An American History
Michael Kazin.
Basic Books, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 9 "Stand Up for the Working Man: George Wallace and the Making of a New Right"
The Deep South States of America: People, Politics, and Power in the Seven Deep South States
Neal R. Peirce.
W. W. Norton, 1974
Librarian’s tip: "George Wallace: Compulsive Campaigner" begins on p. 249 and "George Wallace: Populist or Not?" begins on p. 258
Judge Frank Johnson and Human Rights in Alabama
Tinsley E. Yarbrough.
University of Alabama Press, 1981
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 10 "The Real Governor of Alabama"
George C. Wallace and the Founding of Alabama's Public Two-Year Colleges
Katsinas, Stephen G.
Journal of Higher Education, Vol. 65, No. 4, July-August 1994
American Orators of the Twentieth Century: Critical Studies and Sources
Bernard K. Duffy; Halford R. Ryan.
Greenwood Press, 1987
Librarian’s tip: "George Corley Wallace (1917): Spokesman for Segregation" begins on p. 405
The Transformation of Southern Politics: Social Change and Political Consequence since 1945
Jack Bass; Walter Devries.
Basic Books, 1976
Librarian’s tip: "The Wallace Freeze" begins on p. 57
The New Right, 1960-1968: With Epilogue, 1969-1980
Jonathan Martin Kolkey.
University Press of America, 1983
Librarian’s tip: "Barry Goldwater and George Wallace" begins on p. 206
Opening Doors: Perspectives on Race Relations in Contemporary America
Harry J. Knopke; Robert J. Norrell; Ronald W. Rogers.
University of Alabama Press, 1991
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of George Wallace begins on p. 60
Power Shift: The Rise of the Southern Rim and Its Challenge to the Eastern Establishment
Kirkpatrick Sale.
Random House, 1975
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of George Wallace begins on p. 103
Social Cleavages and Political Change: Voter Alignments and U.S. Party Coalitions
Jeff Manza; Clem Brooks.
Oxford University Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of George Wallace begins on p. 217
Alabama Government & Politics
James D. Thomas; William H. Stewart.
University of Nebraska Press, 1988
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of George Wallace begins on p. 68
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