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George Wallace (1919)

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George Corley Wallace, Jr. (August 25, 1919 – September 13, 1998) was an American politician and the 45th Governor of Alabama, serving four terms: 1963–1967, 1971–1979 and 1983–1987. After four runs for U. S. president , he earned the title of "the most influential loser" in 20th-century U.S. politics, according to biographers Dan T. Carter and Stephan Lesher.

A 1972 assassination attempt left Wallace paralyzed, and he used a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He is remembered for his Southern populist and pro-segregation attitudes during the American desegregation period, convictions he renounced later in life.

  Biography  

 early life
The first of four children, Wallace was a native of Barbour County, Alabama. He was born in the town of Clio, 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; Mozell had to sell their farmland to pay existing mortgages 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 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 in Tuscaloosa in 1937. He was a member of the Delta Chi Fraternity. After receiving a LL.B. degree in 1942, he entered pilot cadet training in the Air Force. He washed out, became a staff sergeant and flew B-29 combat missions over Japan in 1945. He served with the XX Bomber Command under General Curtis LeMay, who would be his running mate in the 1968 presidential race. 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.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "George Wallace", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.