Talk:George Wallace

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Former good article nominee George Wallace was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
March 13, 2007 Good article nominee Not listed
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"He was totally gay"[edit]

What is that doing in the article? ("His term as Governor (1983–1987) saw a record number of black appointments to government positions.[21] He was totally gay. In the 1982 Alabama gubernatorial Democratic primary, Wallace's main opponents were Lieutenant Governor George McMillan and Alabama House Speaker Joe McCorquodale." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:19, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

First Republican[edit]

The article states in "Change of views before final term" that Emory Folmar would have been the first "Republican to be elected Alabama governor for the first time in the state's history" but this is contradicted by the List of Governors of Alabama which have William Hugh Smith and David P. Lewis as the 21st and 23rd governors of Alabama, both republicans, can some one please clarify this discrepancy?--Liamdavies 2:24, 8 November 2007 (+10GMT)

Good catch. Those were Reconstruction-era Republicans, when many former Confederates were disenfranchised, briefly breaking Democratic hold. I've corrected the article. CAVincent (talk) 03:03, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Missing some history[edit]

Shouldn't there be some reference to Wallace's involvement in the outcome of the Selma to Montgomery marches? I was surprised to find no mention of it--Stvfetterly 19:37, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

A very minor point[edit]

What Wallace was in during WW II technically wasn't the U.S. Air Force, which didn't formally begin until 1947. He was in either the 'Army Air Corps' or the 'Army Air Force', which were certainly the predecessors to the USAF. Also, did he "enlist" or was he a commissioned officer (like most but certainly not all college-educated personnel were)? His rank would be a nice detail – and if he were actually a pilot, then he was almost certainly an officer.Rlquall 02:34, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Actually, he was in the United States Army Air Forces. There never was an "Army Air Force." (See the extensive discussion at the USAAF link).--Jpbrenna 03:00, 9 August 2005 (UTC)
I think the prior editor meant the USAAF by 'Army Air Force' (personal attack removed) (talk) 10:09, 2 July 2009 (UTC)


With regards to:

It was perhaps because of the constant pain from his injuries that Wallace realized the harm his racist rhetoric and views had caused African Americans.

This seems to be to be entirely speculative -- it's not obvious that paralysis would lead to an understanding of racial oppression -- so unless anyone can justify it (e.g. with something Wallace said) I will remove it soon. --Saforrest 20:20, May 10, 2005 (UTC)

It certainly seems to be true (most of my family on my father's side lives in Alabama), but it is certainly a matter of perception and speculation, not of fact, and I would suggest that it should be removes unless someone come up with documented evidence very soon. Rlquall 00:27, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

It's not only speculation but there is good reason to believe that such a "change of heart" was not necessary. Wallace's early background and his close association with Big Jim Folsom seems to indicate a very moderate attitude on racial matters, for the time and place, and only opportunism and total lack of scruples took him down the racist path. When that didn't work anymore, it didn't work anymore. (talk) 21:14, 30 November 2009 (UTC)Will in New Haven65.79.173.135 (talk) 21:14, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

I'd think it's also speculative that he ever truly believed he'd done anything wrong. His "turnaround" happened later in life after he'd lost close friends...and he could well have just been trying to tie up loose ends and improve his image as the end of life approached. You could say his actions changed, (long after the fact, as it were), but we'll never know what his real stance was, inside. Codenamemary (talk) 21:01, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Brain fever[edit]

What is this "brain fever" the article talks about? It sounds like he had malaria. Maybe he was treated with Atabrine, which, if the dosage isn't very carefully controlled, bores holes in your brain and can give you nerve and heart damage. They used it a lot during the war, and didn't realize how bad its side effects were until it was too late. They just new it helped with quinine-resistant strains of malaria, which they were desperate to find a medication for at the time. Anyway, the stuff was often bad news: Charles Orde Wingate went nutso after they gave it to him and tried to kill himself in the hospital. So maybe that's where Wallace's nerve damage come from? Can somebody find out? "Brain fever" is pretty vague. Lots of politicians who never heard a shot fired in anger seem to have that disease ;) --Jpbrenna 03:00, 9 August 2005 (UTC)


Did the Alabama African-American community accept Wallace's apology? Youngamerican 20:29, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I think the second picture at this article on George Wallace gives some good evidence that yes, his apology was accepted. --Dylan Thurston 18:35, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

He was not forgiven for his racist actions. He is still held in high contempt in the Black community. His actions as well as others during the civil rights movement will never be forgotten. A true symbol of bigotry in U.S. history.

Alvin A. Harris —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:39, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

One reason the Alabama Black community cannot and will not forgive Wallace is that they had very good indications when he was a young man and even in his years as a judge that he was not the bigot he turned out to be. He persecuted Blacks, not out of ignorance and hatred learned at his mother's knee but out of sheer opportunism. He knew better. That made him worse, in the opinion of many, than mad-dog imbeciles like Lester Maddox. (talk) 21:20, 30 November 2009 (UTC)Will in New Haven65.79.173.135 (talk) 21:20, 30 November 2009 (UTC)


While I highly doubt that Neo-Nazi, right-winger racist types who look up George Wallace biographies probably have no idea who I'm talking about (they probably write him off as a "faggy Brit", the pic at the top of the article looks like Morrissey. Just a thought. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) {{{2}}}.

You mean the picture of him standing in the doorway? I don't think you've got to be a right wing nazi to want to read the article, I found the fact that he renounced his previous views and his candid admission that he used racism as a means to election very moving.

The Nazis were socialist and thus left wing. Nearly all segregationists were democrats and also advocated increased welfare and social programmes making them left wing.

NOT SO AT ALL. The Nazis were neither socialist nor left-wing. Not by a long shot. The Nazi party was originally a small working-class party with a vaguely socialist agenda; that's why it was called the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei). When Hitler and his cronies took over that party, they didn't bother to change the name, with the result that they have always been known by the name of that party, "nazi" being short for "national socialist" ("nationalsozialistische"). But that's merely a word. There was and is actually nothing socialist about Nazis. Much less is there anything left-wing about them. Hitler actually tried to change the name to Social Revolutionary Party, but his proposal was nixed.

Oh, absolutely.
So according to you, desegregation was a Republican idea all along? It wasn't Truman who desegregated the military, it wasn't Johnson who passed the Civil Rights Act, oh no, none of that ever happened, did it (personal attack removed)? The GOP dropped racial equality from its platform around 1900 and never got it back. Desegregation after that was always advanced by Northeastern *LIBERAL* Democrats, who were willing to lose the South and therefore their political supremacy in order to bring about racial equality. What did Republicans do? They picked up the racist vote and sold out Lincoln's ideals for a chance at political supremacy. Give yourselves a hand, boys.
"Nearly all segregationists were democrats and also advocated increased welfare and social programmes making them left wing."
The segregationists *were* leftists throughout FDR's administration. And why shouldn't they be? The South benefited more than any other region from the New Deal. But then they found out that their hard-earned tax money was also going to (shudder) black people - can you imagine? A problem that was compounded when Truman desegregated the military and the party slid slowly more and more towards racial liberalism. Which was when the Southern Democrats slowly started distancing themselves from liberalism and the New Deal legacy.
"The Nazis were socialist and thus left wing."
Ah yes, the shameless GOP "everybody who disagrees with me is a NAZI! thing. Here's a question; if the Nazis were socialist, why the hell was private property both respected and encouraged (Mussolini called it "a right and a duty") in Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy? Why were all their economic reforms in favor of the business sector (abolishing unions, requiring workers to get the consent of their previous employer before finding a new job)?
Oh, another question; where the FUCK was the pro-rugged individual, pro-personal freedom Republican Party at the time when the Nazis actually existed, and actually were a threat to mankind? Oh, that's right. Using every ounce of political power they had left to keep the country out of war, lest their sponsors in the business sector be forced to stop trading helium to Germany, or oil to Japan. Remind me again, who are the "traitors" who would sell America out for a second cup of coffee? (talk) 06:35, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
After you spewed all that vitriol, I have to ask: you do know that Wallace, whom this web page concerns, was a Democrat, right? (talk) 08:30, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

September 1963[edit]

According to this page, on September 10, 1963 "20 black students entered public schools in Birmingham, Tuskegee and Mobile, Alabama, following a standoff between federal authorities and Gov. George C. Wallace."

There's nothing in the article about this - just the similar standoff in June of that year. It looks like it should be mentioned but I don't know enough about the events to add to the article myself. --Spondoolicks 10:02, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

The correct spelling of his middle name is " CORLEY" not what is posted.

Failed GA and reasons[edit]

I have reviewed this article per the criteria in WP:WIAGA and unfortunately had to fail it. The following issues arose for me vis-a-vis the Good Article criteria:

  1. It has some organization issues that affect the quality of the article. The section titled "Presidential Ambitions" for example, seems out of place for the flow of the article. There are other issues in organization as well that interupt the flow and make it hard to follow in places. (Early Life section separate from the Wives and Children section? Maybe a unified personal life section would be better... )Also, some section titles have irregular capitalization. See WP:MOS for more info.
  2. The article has some serious referencing issues. Large sections of text, which make assertions of facts, are unreferenced as to where those facts come from. For example:
    1. The entire Entering Politics section
    2. Most of the American Independent Party presidential candidate section (there's even a FACT tag there!)
    3. The second half of the Second term as governor section
    4. The entire Change of views before final term section
    5. The entire Wives and children section
    6. Most of Wallace in pop culture section
  3. Fair use problems with the image "Wallace button.gif", which does not have an adequate Fair Use Rationale.

If these problems can be fixed, feel free to renominate for GA again. Good luck and happy editing. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 23:50, 13 March 2007 (UTC)


After Wallace was shot, was he completely paralyzed, or paralyzed from the waist down, or what? The article should be more clear on this. --MasterA113 19:59, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Fixed infoboxes[edit]

Jere Beasley was never Governor of Alabama (he never held the office). Beasley was Lieutenant Governor serving as Acting Governor during Governor Wallace's absence (due to assassination attempt injuries). Also List of Governors of Alabama listes Wallace as the 45th Governor (the 45th state Governor), the list numbers Governors by individual (only) even though a governor may have served non-consecutive terms. GoodDay 19:11, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Wallace's gubernatorial number[edit]

The List of Governors of Alabama numbers those governor's by individual not by office. Therefore, even though Wallace has served on three separate occasions, he's still only numbered as the 45th Governor. GoodDay 15:06, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Presidential campaign in 1968[edit]

George Wallace presidential campaign, 1968 was made by copying George Wallace#American Independent Party presidential candidate and they are still almost identical. The copy was kept at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/George Wallace presidential campaign 1968, so the section in George Wallace should be a summary per Wikipedia:Summary style. PrimeHunter (talk) 14:54, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Symbol of bigotry[edit]

Gov. George Wallace's legacy will be forever tarnished. He along with Bull Connor, are true symbols of bigotry in U.S. History. The actions of racist like this man and others brought about the very change they fought so hard to avoid.

Alvin A. Harris —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:35, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Amen to that. Gautam Discuss 04:40, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
So? (talk) 00:24, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Far too POV to be included in intro. Reverted back to previous. noble savage Talk 14:20, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

What, no way, ask any historian what George Wallace is best remembered for, it's not the 1968 election. He is the most legit public figure bigot in U.S. modern-history. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:29, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a soapbox (talk) 21:35, 26 June 2008 (UTC) Amen to the above post. So he is was racist? Who cares! I dont. I like him, but, I guess that makes me a bigot. Keep it neutral. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:15, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Lincoln comparison[edit]

Anyone attempting to use Lincoln for a contrasting comparison to Wallace on views about race and segregation would be best be advised to look at the fourth Lincoln-Douglas debate of 9/18/1858.

“I say then I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, -- that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”

Lincoln may have possibly changed his views somewhat, but nothing I've ever seen has indicated more than ambivalence on his part. His issue was that slavery was wrong, not discrimination and inequality before the law, as based on race. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:31, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Removal of unsourced material[edit]

I removed this passage:

A black lawyer recalls, "Judge George Wallace was the most liberal judge that I had ever practiced law in front of. He was the first judge in Alabama to call me 'Mister' in a courtroom."[citation needed] Later, when a supporter asked why he started using racist messages, Wallace replied, "You know, I tried to talk about good roads and good schools and all these things that have been part of my career, and nobody listened. And then I began talking about niggers, and they stomped the floor."[1]

because the "black lawyer" quote is unsourced, and the "good roads" quote is not found anywhere on the page linked in the citation. TremorMilo (talk) 18:03, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Seriously? The latter part was sourced, the former part was easily sourceable. Considering that the tag was only placed there this month, this removal is unacceptable. Str1977 (talk) 00:03, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Dixiecrat addition[edit]

Was Wallace ever officially in the Dixiecrat Party of Strom Thurmond? From what I know, he was a Southern Democrat, but nothing really beyond that. If that's the case, there's really no point in listing his affiliation as 'Democratic (Dixiecrat)'. One (talk) 19:08, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

No, Wallace was not a Dixiecrat. In fact, to the contrary, Wallace refused to walk out on the Democrats when Thurmond's delegation left the convention. Any such labellings are probably due to Wallace having similar goals and, indeed, leaving the Democrats later to run as a third-party candidate. Recognizance (talk) 07:09, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Cosby comment[edit]

Bill Cosby was talking about BLACK COMEDIAN GEORGE WALLACE. Not WHITE FORMER GOVERNER OF ALABAMA GEORGE WALLACE. Sheesh, the internet is dumb. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:39, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

found a WALLACE FOR PRESIDENT white foam bowler hat this weekend, not sure if a historian may want it...but i haven't been able to find anything else like it in any pictures or even on ebay... if its really THAt rare, i'd like to see it in hands that would like to have it. Brian —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:51, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

Religious affiliation[edit]

This entry currently gives Wallace's religious affiliation (in a box under his photo) as follows: "Religion Born-again Christian (after 1964) / Baptist (before 1964)"

Biographies I've seen say that Wallace was a Methodist. See, e.g., Jeff Frederick, Stand Up for Alabama: George Wallace, at pp. 113, 355, 429 n.33 (Tuscaloosa: Univ. Alabama Press, 2007).

Can anyone clarify what basis there might be for identifying Wallace as a Baptist rather than Methodist? Eric Alan Isaacson (talk) 19:02, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

good point. Carter, Politics of Rage, p 137 quotes Wallace on national TV calling himself a Methodist in 1963.Rjensen (talk) 19:13, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

1968 third party presidential run[edit]

Fourth paragraph currently reads: "Wallace retracted the invitation, and chose Air Force General Curtis LeMay instead. LeMay was chairman of the board of an electronics company, and the company would dismiss him if he spent his time running for vice president; Hunt set up a million-dollar fund to reimburse him for any losses." (emphasis mine) - who or what is Hunt? This bit is quite confusing without that piece of information, could someone clarify it please?

Ta! Beccaviola (talk) 12:33, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

PS this page is complaining of a ref error, how do I fix it?

It's Texas oil tycoon H.L. Hunt. He was a vocal opponent of the Democrats and certainly had the money and conservative/southern ties to fund such a campaign. Hunt and his son Bunker were visible supporters of Wallace in '68. I'll see if I can edit that into the paragraph.


The lead section reads, He is best known for his Southern populist, pro-segregation attitudes during the American desegregation period, convictions he ostensibly renounced later in life. Now I'm no George Wallace fan--the man was a complete demagogue, in my opinion. But this sentence is a bit POV, I believe. Why? To renounce something carries with it the connotation of a public declaration. (See Miriam Webster, "1. to give up, refuse, or resign usually by formal declaration" and, " give up by formal declaration: to renounce a claim."). As such, the use of the word "ostensibly", which clearly carries the connotation that he did not really do what follows, implies that Wallace was still a segregationist. Now I personally think that leopards don't change their spots; Wallace either was a racist until the day he died or he was a non-racist in 1960 who just wanted to get elected. But the point is, it is a fact that he did make formal, public declarations repudiating his earlier stances (and got a lot of black votes by doing so). So the word "ostensibly" has the effect of smearing him as a potential liar, when in fact, we cannot ascertain that without being able to read his mind or heart. HuskyHuskie (talk) 06:22, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps one could say he "publicly renounced" prior views, which leaves what he felt inside out of the equation. We have no way of knowing what his true feelings on race were at that later time, either way. Codenamemary (talk) 21:09, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
Having no way of knowing what his true feelings on race were, we must defer to what the reliable sources say. Xenophrenic (talk) 22:23, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
Well, I guess someone didn't like "publicly renounced," even though that's at least what we KNOW happened. It got reverted back. I wonder why someone would possibly object to that? I don't think it's in dispute that he publicly renounced his former stance.Codenamemary (talk) 20:29, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Hope I didn't switch this to earlier version, somehow[edit]

The language had been changed in something I added to the lede ("....with unforgiven sin" to "...his sins unforgiven"). I just thought it was better to stick with the phrasing that's in the cited source, as the sincerity of Wallace's "change of heart" is such a contested issue. Anyway, I was comparing the edits, and now it looks like the original phrasing is back (good) but what else did I do (bad)? Ugh. Codenamemary (talk) 01:31, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

I mixed up what the original wording was. The latest edit is still there, so I didn't change anything, big or small. Carry on. Codenamemary (talk) 01:37, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Record length of service?[edit]

The article seems to say that Terry Branstad is the only person who served longer as a governor than Wallace's 16 years. But that doesn't seem to be true. George Clinton was governor of New York for 21 years (1777-1795 and 1801-1804). I'm not sure if there are others, but this ought to be checked out. john k (talk) 15:16, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Witheld Knowledge of Wife's Precancer cells[edit]

As a cancer patient myself, I find the following sentence troubling in several ways: "In 1961, in keeping with the custom of the time to shield patients from the emotional impact of discussion of cancer, Wallace had withheld information from her that a uterine biopsy had found possibly precancerous cells."

Having been alive in 1961 and having had surgery in 1964, I find it impossible to believe a doctor would withhold critical information from an adult patient but would tell her husband unless there were very extenuating circumstances such as the final days of a terminal illness. This is a very serious allegation being made against the doctor and George Wallace. Also, just how would someone find out about what amounts to a felony if true. I would like to hear some discussion about this matter.TL36 (talk) 22:25, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

If Wallace were alive today, we should remove the contentious statement immediately, per Wikipedia's policy on the biographies of living people. However, since he is long dead, and the doctor is not identified, we can consider the accuracy of the material at our leisure. It's not entirely clear, but the statement appears to be referenced to "Carter, 1995". In turn, that seems to be ISBN 0-8071-2597-0 - a book about Wallace and related topics. If we wish to challenge the statement, we should find out more about the book and whether it is a reliable and independent source, and whether it does indeed claim these facts.
Relying on personal experience won't help us much - I was born well after the 60's, but I can give you a much later anecdote from personal experience that has some similarities. Strange things happen sometimes.
You may very well be right - the book may be wrong, the book may not say that, the book may have been misinterpreted in good faith by the person or people writing this Wikipedia article. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 00:07, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Google Books finds, for me, a preview of a relevant passage based on the ISBN I gave. The preview indicates that the book says (1) the uterine biopsy indicated the "definite" presence of cancer; (2) the doctor informed her of this "shortly after he received the lab report". The short passage available for preview does not mention any involvement by Mr Wallace (no relation to Marsellus Wallace) in these discussions, and specifically says the doctor told Mrs Wallace directly. I'll add some appropriate tags to the disputed sentence in the article. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 00:15, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
The sourced pages from Dan Carter's book are given as 310-312 and 317-320. Page 311 and 312 are apparently unavailable on google while page 310 only has three pertinent sentences ending with Mrs. Wallace remarking that the doctors may have gotten rid of the cancer for now but that it would return. These sentences seem to conclude a passage on Mrs. Wallace's cancer so it seems page 309 would be the one to review but it also is not available. Pages 317-320 deal with the last stage of her illness with her passing away on page 320. Since the book is discussing her cancer on the given pages, I think Carter's book is indeed meant to be the source of the sentence we are questioning. However, since the dubious sentence gives the year 1961 and all of these pages deal with events occurring in 1967 and 1968, I wouldn't think seeing the unavailable pages would help. If something about Mrs. Wallace not being advised of her precancerous cells is actually in Carter's book, I think it's in other pages, possibly earlier in the book.TL36 (talk) 05:13, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
I have added the reference from pages 277-278 of Carter's book and removed the tags. Jdperkins (talk) 20:30, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

Standing in the Schoolhouse Door[edit]

There are a number of difficulties with this section.

  1. The "our troops" suggest that this is possibly a direct citation from somewhere, but it is not clear where.
  2. The Brown v. Board article given as a reference is incorrectly linked, at least for accessing it today. A correct link would be
  3. The article in question does not substantiate the facts stated in any useful way, hence I have not amended the link.

I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, an expert on Wallace, and I do not feel equipped to correct these issues per sé, but they do need to be addressed to improve the quality of the article. PaulJCompton (talk) 09:25, 14 August 2013 (UTC)PaulJCompton

Political party[edit]

Does anybody knows George Wallace was a Republican?

George Wallace was a conservative. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:33, 15 September 2014 (UTC)


The body text says he was born in Clio, but the infobox says Opp. Which is right? Lesgles (talk) 21:39, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

Ah, it seems there was some subtle vandalism going on. Fixed, I think. Lesgles (talk) 21:55, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
    • ^ Cite error: The named reference Woods_On_Fire_quotes was invoked but never defined (see the help page).