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FORMER ALABAMA GOV. WALLACE DIES.



Byline: Kendall Weaver Associated Press Associated Press: see news agency.
Associated Press (AP)

Cooperative news agency, the oldest and largest in the U.S. and long the largest in the world.
 

Former Gov. George C. Wallace, the one-time firebrand fire·brand  
n.
1. A person who stirs up trouble or kindles a revolt.

2. A piece of burning wood.


firebrand
Noun
 segregationist seg·re·ga·tion·ist  
n.
One that advocates or practices a policy of racial segregation.



segre·ga
 who was paralyzed par·a·lyze  
tr.v. par·a·lyzed, par·a·lyz·ing, par·a·lyz·es
1. To affect with paralysis; cause to be paralytic.

2. To make unable to move or act: paralyzed by fear.
 by a would-be assassin's bullet as he campaigned for the presidency in 1972, died Sunday. He was 79.

Wallace, a lifelong Democrat who late in life began supporting some Republican candidates, had battled Parkinson's disease Parkinson's disease or Parkinsonism, degenerative brain disorder first described by the English surgeon James Parkinson in 1817. When there is no known cause, the disease usually appears after age 40 and is referred to as Parkinson's disease.  as well as the lingering effects of his wounds. He had been hospitalized repeatedly.

Wallace entered the hospital Thursday, suffering from breathing problems and septic shock Septic Shock Definition

Septic shock is a potentially lethal drop in blood pressure due to the presence of bacteria in the blood.
Description

Septic shock is a possible consequence of bacteremia, or bacteria in the bloodstream.
 caused by a severe bacterial infection. He also had been hospitalized this summer with similar problems.

As a third-party candidate in 1968, Wallace received nearly 10 million presidential votes and seemed poised to do as well four years later when he was shot.

He had gained national notoriety in the early 1960s when he vowed ``segregation forever'' and stood in an Alabama schoolhouse door to keep African-Americans from enrolling. But ultimately he won an unprecedented fourth term as governor with the help of African-American voters.

``We thought it was in the best interests of all concerned. We were mistaken,'' he told an African-American group during his last gubernatorial campaign, in 1982. ``The Old South is gone'' but ``the New South is still opposed to government regulation of our lives.''

A political legend in a region long accustomed to fiery oratory, Wallace dominated the state for the better part of two decades before bowing out of politics with the April 1986 announcement that he would not seek a fifth term.

Urging voters to ``send 'em a message,'' Wallace made four runs at the presidency, including the 1968 contest in which he won five Southern states Southern States
U.S.

Confederacy

government of 11 Southern states that left the Union in 1860. [Am. Hist.: EB, III: 73]

Dixie

popular name for Southern states in U.S. and for song. [Am. Hist.
 and 46 electoral votes.

He married three times and put his first wife in the governor's chair when state law barred him from succeeding himself.

As the South reeled from civil rights clashes and the bombing of African-American churches during his early career, Wallace loomed as a symbol of racial oppression across the region.

But after being crippled by gunshots and forced to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life, Wallace no longer was the jut-jawed, fist-shaking figure who threatened to ``shake the eye teeth'' of the establishment.

Mellowed into populist

Late in life, the shrewd firebrand segregationist had mellowed into a populist who pledged to help poor people of all colors. His election to a fourth term in 1982 was built on a coalition including the African-American voters he once scorned, and he was courted by liberal members of his party.

Removed from the political spotlight, he worried that history would remember him only for his segregationist defiance.

Stephan Lesher, who wrote a 1994 biography of Wallace, ``American Populist,'' with the former governor's cooperation, said that even though Wallace recanted his racial stands, he will always be remembered most as the man who cried ``segregation forever'' and stood in the schoolhouse door.

``It's like the blood stains on Lady Macbeth's hands,'' Lesher said. ``He will never be able to wash out the stains of racism.''

George Corley Wallace was born Aug. 25, 1919, in Clio, in the rural, row-crop country of southeastern Alabama. His father was a farmer and county commissioner, his mother a county health worker.

The short, dark-eyed farm boy became a scrappy Golden Gloves
For the honor in Major League Baseball, see Gold Glove.


The Golden Gloves is the name given to annual competitions for amateur boxing in the United States.
 boxer. He earned his law degree from the University of Alabama The University of Alabama (also known as Alabama, UA or colloquially as 'Bama) is a public coeducational university located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA. Founded in 1831, UA is the flagship campus of the University of Alabama System. , and served in World War II as a flight engineer on B-29 bombing missions over the Pacific.

After the war, he became an assistant state attorney general, then ran successfully for the Alabama House of Representatives The Alabama House of Representatives is the lower house of the Alabama Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Alabama. The House is composed of 105 members representing an equal amount of districts, with each constituency containing at least 42,380 citizens.  in 1946.

When he won election as a circuit judge in 1952, he used his court post to become known as ``the fightin' little judge'' for battling federal authorities over African-Americans' voting records.

In his first race for governor in 1958, he lost the Democratic primary to John Patterson John Patterson can mean any of the following:
  • John Patterson (1805-1856), a Canadian businessman and canal builder
  • John J. Patterson US senator from South Carolina from 1873 to 1879.
  • John W.
, who had taken a harder line than Wallace in support of racial segregation. Wallace reportedly vowed that he would never be ``out-segged'' again.

He was successful on his next try in 1962. On Jan. 14, 1963, as bands decked in Rebel uniforms played ``Dixie,'' Wallace took the oath of office An oath of office is an oath or affirmation a person takes before undertaking the duties of an office, usually a position in government or within a religious body, although such oaths are sometimes required of officers of other organizations.  beneath the white-domed capitol where Jefferson Davis had been sworn in as president of the Confederacy Confederacy, name commonly given to the Confederate States of America (1861–65), the government established by the Southern states of the United States after their secession from the Union.  a century before.

``Let us rise to the call of the freedom-loving blood that is in us and send our answer to the tyranny that clanks its chains upon the South,'' Wallace told the crowd.

``In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny. And I say . . . segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.''

In a matter of months he made his celebrated ``stand in the schoolhouse door,'' an unsuccessful bid to block the entrance of two African-Americans to the University of Alabama.

At a shopping center in Laurel on May 15, 1972, Wallace plunged into a crowd of well-wishers to shake hands to perform the customary act of civility by clasping and moving hands, as an expression of greeting, farewell, good will, agreement, etc.

See also: Shake
. Suddenly a blond man in dark glasses lunged forward with a gun.

``The next thing I knew, I heard five firecracker-sounding pops . . .,'' Wallace recalled later. ``I felt no shots, but I felt myself falling. I attempted to move my legs, and I knew immediately I was paralyzed.''

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PHOTO (color) George Wallace
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Obituary
Date:Sep 14, 1998
Words:880
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