George Wallace

45th Governor of Alabama (1919–1998)

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

George Wallace
Wallace in 1968
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
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
American Independent (1968)
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)
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.

Wallace was born in Clio, 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, which made him paralyzed for the rest of his life. He is known for having different views on segregation, because he supported 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, caused by an assasination attempt.

Early life


Wallace was born George Corley 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)



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 go to the same schools or many of the same public places as white people. In 1963 he stood in a schoolhouse door to stop black students from going to 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 saw him as a terrible person, a white supremacist who supported violence.

In time, he changed his views, and apologized to African-Americans and other people hurt by segregation. He promoted black equality in his last term as Governor.[source?] Despite this, he is still an icon of racism today and many people think of him as one of the most evil people in American history.

Assassination attempt


During the 1972 presidential campaign, Wallace was shot five times by someone who wanted to assassinate him, Arthur Bremer.[2] He got a permanent injury to his spine. He could no longer walk, and spent the rest of his life using a wheelchair.

Later career


After his last term as governor, he began speaking in public places (including churches).

Personal life


Wallace was married to Laurlen Wallace until her death. He then married to Corelia Wallace until they divorced. Then he was married to Lisa Taylor until they divorced. He had four children, all from Taylor.


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.

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.


  1. "George C. Wallace". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. August 25, 2012. 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". September 13, 1998. Retrieved March 29, 2014.

Other websites


  Media related to George Wallace at Wikimedia Commons