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George C. Wallace
George C Wallace.jpg
45th Governor of Alabama
In office
January 17, 1983 – January 19, 1987
Lieutenant Bill Baxley
Preceded by Fob James
Succeeded by H. Guy Hunt
In office
January 18, 1971 – January 15, 1979
Lieutenant Jere Beasley
Preceded by Albert Brewer
Succeeded by Fob James
In office
January 14, 1963 – January 16, 1967
Lieutenant James Allen
Preceded by John Patterson
Succeeded by Lurleen Wallace
First Gentleman of Alabama
In role
January 16, 1967 – May 7, 1968
Governor Lurleen Wallace
Preceded by Lurleen Wallace (First Lady)
Succeeded by Martha Farmer Brewer (First Lady)
Personal details
George Corley Wallace Jr.

(1919-08-25)August 25, 1919
Clio, Alabama, U.S.
Died September 13, 1998(1998-09-13) (aged 79)
Montgomery, Alabama, U.S.
Resting place Greenwood Cemetery
Political party Democratic
Other political
American Independent (1968)
Lurleen Burns
(m. 1943; died 1968)

Cornelia Snively
(m. 1971; div. 1978)

Lisa Taylor
(m. 1981; div. 1987)
Children 4, including George
Education University of Alabama (LLB)
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Branch/service  United States Army
Years of service 1942–1945
Rank Staff Sergeant
Unit United States Army Air Forces
Battles/wars World War II
  • Jere Beasley served as Acting Governor from June 5, 1972 – July 7, 1972 while Wallace recovered from the assassination attempt.

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

Wallace was born in Cilio, 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 and paralyzed for the rest of his life. His is known for having different views on 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.

Early life

Wallace was born George Corely Wallace on August 25, 1919 in Clio, Alabama. 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 attend the same schools, or go to many of the same public places, as white people. In 1963 he stood in a schoolhouse door to prevent black students from attending 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 viewed him as a terrible person, a white supremacist who encouraged violence.

In time, he changed his views, and said that he was sorry to African-Americans, and other people hurt by segregation. He promoted black equality in his last term as Governor. Despite this, he remains an icon of racism today and many people think of him as one of the most evil figures in American history.

Assassination attempt

During the 1972 presidential campaign, Wallace was shot five times by a would-be assassin, Arthur Bremer. He suffered 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), to promote tolerance and friendship between people of different races.

Personal life

Wallace was married to Laurleen 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.

Popular Culture

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. He was buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Montgomery.

  • Caught on Tape: The White House Reaction to the Shooting of Alabama Governor and Democratic Presidential Candidate George Wallace from History's News Network:

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