- NAME: George Wallace
- OCCUPATION: U.S. Governor
- BIRTH DATE: August 25, 1919
- DEATH DATE: September 13, 1998
- EDUCATION: Barbour County High School, University of Alabama School of Law
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Clio, Alabama
- PLACE OF DEATH: Montgomery, Alabama
- AKA: George Corley Wallace
- Full Name: George Corley Wallace Jr.
- AKA: George C. Wallace
- AKA: George Wallace
- Nickname: The Fighting Little Judge
Best Known For
George Wallace was a four-time governor of Alabama and three-time presidential hopeful. He is best remembered for his 1960s segregationist politics.
Bloody Sunday (4:04)
When George Wallace first ran for Governor in 1958 he was considered a moderate on the race issue. But after he lost, he ran again in 1962 and won on a platform of racial segregation and was backed by the Ku Klux Klan.
On March 7, 1965 around 600 people crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in an attempt to begin the Selma to Montgomery march. State troopers violently attacked the peaceful demonstrators in an attempt to stop the march for voting rights.
On Sunday, March 21, 1965, nearly 8,000 people began the five-day march from Selma to Montgomery for voting rights.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
George Wallace also harbored presidential aspirations. In 1968, he ran as an Independent candidate, supported mainly by white, working-class Southerners. In his 1972 campaign, however, he ran as a Democrat. While on the campaign trail in Maryland later that year, Wallace was shot by a would-be assassin named Arthur Bremer. His injuries left him permanently paralyzed below the waist. He managed to still complete the campaign,
but ultimately lost the Democratic nomination to George McGovern (who then lost the presidential election to Richard Nixon).
In his third and final presidential attempt, in 1976, Wallace again ran as a Democrat; he was defeated in the primaries by fellow Southerner Jimmy Carter.
From the late 1970s onward, Wallace attempted to revise his public image by modifying his previous position on race issues. He claimed that many of his statements had been misunderstood, and he emphasized his populist leanings. In some cases, he issued public apologies for his earlier actions. By the time of his fourth term as Alabama governor, he'd begun receiving a substantial amount of support from black political organizations and black voters. His efforts to improve the state's economy, health care, employment and infrastructure were considered highly successful.
Due to ill health, Wallace retired at the end of his last gubernatorial term, in January 1987. He died of heart failure on September 13, 1998, at the age of 79, in Montgomery, Alabama.
Wallace had married three times. In addition to his marriage to Lurleen Burns, with whom he had four children, he wed Cornelia Ellis Sniveley in 1971 (divorced in 1978) and Lisa Taylor in 1981 (divorced in 1987).
© 2014 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.
Visit the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BRCI), a museum, research center and teaching facility in Birmingham, Alabama. BRCI is dedicated to documenting the American Civil Rights Movement, and promoting civil and human rights worldwide through education.
Included In These Groups
A good party always has some surprises—and that goes for political parties, too. Though the United States has had a two-party system for most of its history, party loyalty is not always written in stone. Over the years many politicians have switched sides, for ideological, political, and strategic reasons. Here are some of the politicians who have crossed to the other side of the aisle.
Political Party Crashers 26 people in this group
Famous Virgoans 598 people in this group
Famous People Named George 89 people in this group