(48.) GEORGE CORLEY WALLACE (1919-1998)
“He Stood in the Schoolhouse Door”
Independent Wallace/Curtis Le May
Defeated by Republican Richard M. Nixon/Spiro Agnew, 1968
Wallace left his American Independent Party in 1972 to seek the Democratic presidential nomination. While campaigning, he was shot in a Maryland suburb of Washington, D. C. by Arthur Bremer, a drifter who had previously stalked President Richard M. Nixon.
Wallace was left paralyzed from the waist down; nonetheless, he made an appearance at the Democratic National Convention where 377 delegates were pledged to him. He remained an influence in U. S. politics until his death in 1998. An outspoken segregationist, he did well in several primaries in 1964, but withdrew in favor of Senator Barry Goldwater. He then became the American Independent Party candidate in 1968 with Air Force General Curtis Le May as his vice-presidential running mate.
Wallace had been Governor of Alabama since 1963 and served a single allowable term, being succeeded by his wife, Lurleen. She was elected by an overwhelming vote, but died of cancer in 1968. Wallace was again elected governor in 1970, remarried in 1971, and became a Democratic wheelchair candidate in the 1976 presidential primaries.