George C. Hawkins
|George Copeland Hawkins, Jr.|
|Alabama State Representative from Etowah County)|
|Alabama State Senator from Etowah County|
December 4, 1918|
Elora, Lincoln County
|Died||August 9, 1991
Place of death missing
|Resting place||Forrest Cemetery in Gadsden|
|Spouse(s)||Jane Smith Hawkins (married 1942-1991, his death)|
|Children||Laura Jane Hightower
George Copeland Hawkins, III
|Parents||Mr. and Mrs. George C. Hawkins, Sr.|
|Residence||Gadsden, Etowah County
Hawkins was born in Elora in Lincoln County in south Tennessee and established a law practice in Gadsden in Etowah County north of Birmingham. He was a member of the American Bar Association and the Association of Trial Lawyers. He was an alternate delegate to the 1948 Democratic National Convention, which meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, adopted a civil rights platform plank opposed by many of the delegates from the then segregated American South. Some of the Alabamians staged a walkout in protest.
He was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 1950 and 1954 but left the House to run for governor in 1958. Victory instead went to John Malcolm Patterson, who defeated George Wallace in a runoff election. Hawkins was elected in 1962 to the Alabama State Senate at the time Wallace won the first of his four nonconsecutive terms as governor. In 1964, he was a candidate for the United States House of Representatives but was defeated, 59.6 to 40.4 percent, by the Republican James D. Martin, also of Gadsden, when Barry Goldwater handily won the electoral votes of Alabama that year. Martin, who had lost a U.S. Senate race in 1962 against the Democrat Lister Hill, left the House seat after one term to wage an unsuccessful battle in 1966 for governor against Wallace's first wife, Lurleen Wallace.
Hawkins was a United Methodist. He was married from 1942 until his death of renal failure at the age of seventy-two to the former Jane Elizabeth Smith (1920-2009), a daughter of Hulet Magnum Smith and Ruth Lee Smith of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and a graduate of the University of Alabama. The couple had five children. Eight years after her husband's death, she relocated for the last eleven years of her life to Coronado, California, where she engaged in photography, painting, and appreciation of nature. She is interred next to her parents at Tuscaloosa Memorial Park, but Hawkins is buried at Forrest Cemetery in Gadsden.
- "Hawkins, George Copeland, Jr.". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved April 30, 2014.
- "1948 Democratic National Convention". historycentral.com. Retrieved April 30, 2014.
- Billy Hathorn, "James Douglas Martin and the Alabama Republican Resurgence, 1962-1965", Gulf Coast Historical Review, Vol. 8, No. 2 (Spring 1993), p. 65
- "Jane Elizabeth Smith Hawkins". tuscaloosamemorial.com. Retrieved April 30, 2014.