George M. Grant
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Grant was born in Louisville, Alabama. He obtained a law degree from University of Alabama in 1922. He was admitted to the bar the same year and opened a law practice in Troy, Alabama, near Montgomery. He served as a private and aviation cadet in the aviation section of the Signal Corps of the United States Army in 1918 and 1919. He was county solicitor (district attorney) of Pike County, Alabama from 1927 to 1937.
When 2nd District Congressman Lister Hill was appointed to the United States Senate in 1938, Grant won the Democratic nomination to succeed him in the special election. In those days, Democratic nomination was tantamount to victory in Alabama, and he took office on June 14. He won a full term that November and was reelected 11 more times from the Montgomery-based district.
In 1957, he voted against the Civil Rights Act. In 1964, Grant faced his first credible opponent in the Democratic primary when former rear admiral John G. Crommelin challenged him. Crommelin ran well to Grant's right, giving speeches full of racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric. Grant managed to fend him off, but in November faced a Republican for the first time ever in Bill Dickinson. Grant lost by a shocking 25-point margin, which was all the more remarkable since most of the district's living residents had never been represented by a Republican. However, most of the 2nd's residents turned against the Democrats due to the Civil Rights Act of 1964—a major factor behind Barry Goldwater carrying the state that year. The 2nd remained in Republican hands until 2008, but regained it in 2010.
Grant returned to his law practice in Troy, but later moved to Washington, D.C. and became a lobbyist. He lived in Washington until the time of his death on November 4, 1982, at sea, aboard the Queen Elizabeth II. He was interred at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.
This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.