Jack Reed (Mississippi politician)

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Jack Raymond Reed, Sr.
Born (1924-05-19)May 19, 1924
Tupelo, Mississippi, US
Died January 27, 2016(2016-01-27) (aged 91)
Tupelo, Mississippi
Occupation Businessman
Political party Republican gubernatorial nominee in 1987
Spouse(s) Frances Purvis Reed

Four children, includling:

Jack Reed, Jr.

Jack Raymond Reed, Sr. (May 19, 1924 – January 27, 2016), was an American businessman and politician from his native Tupelo, Mississippi.

Reed graduated from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. During World War II, he served in the Signal Intelligence Service of the United States Army during the Occupation of Japan. In 1947, he received his master's degree in retailing from New York University in New York City. Reed returned home to help with his family's Reed's Department Store. He was president of the Mississippi Economic Council in 1962. In 1984, Democratic Governor William Winter appointed Reed to the Mississippi Board of Education.[1] He was the chairman of the first state board consisting of lay members. He left the position in 1987 to run for governor. He was subsequently chosen by U.S. President George H.W. Bush to head the National Advisory Committee on Education Research and Improvement.[2]

He was the 1987 Republican gubernatorial nominee. He defeated Douglas Hammond "Doug" Lemon (born March 3, 1942) of Florence[3] in his party's primary election but then lost the general election to Democrat Ray Mabus.[4][5][6]

Nevertheless, Reed's 47 percent of the vote was encouraging to his party. He fared better than his Republican predecessors Rubel Phillips in 1963 and 1967, Gil Carmichael in 1975 and 1979,[7] and Leon Bramlett in 1983.[8] In 1991, the Mississippi GOP won the governorship for the first time since Reconstruction with the election of businessman Kirk Fordice, who unseated Mabus.

Reed is the subject of several books.[citation needed] In 2015, Reed was awarded an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree from Millsaps College in Jackson. Millsaps declared Reed one of the "few individuals to have positively impacted the state of Mississippi," citing his support for business expansion and public education in the aftermath of desegregation.[2] He died two years later at the age of ninety-one.[9] His son, Jack Reed, Jr., is a past mayor of their hometown of Tupelo.


  1. ^ Jerry Mitchell, 'Education champion Jack Reed Sr. dies,' Jackson Clarion-Ledger, January 28, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Jack Reed, Sr. Awarded Honorary Doctor of Public Service from Millsaps College". Mississippi Economic Council. May 13, 2015. Retrieved August 17, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Douglas Lemon". Mylife.com. Retrieved August 17, 2017. 
  4. ^ Winbush, Don (1987-11-16). "Mississippi Rises Again". Time.com. Retrieved 2016-01-28. 
  5. ^ "Oral history with Mr. Jack Raymond Reed". Lib.usm.edu. Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  6. ^ APPublished: August 06, 1987 (1987-08-06). "Mississippi Runoff Set For Democrats – New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  7. ^ Gil Carmichael died on January 31, 2016, four days after Reed.
  8. ^ E.J. Dionne Jr. (1987-11-05). "Voting Produces Strong Evidence Of Importance of Race in Politics". NYTimes.com. Mississippi; United States; Philadelphia (Pa). Retrieved 2016-01-28. 
  9. ^ "Tupelo businessman Jack Reed, Sr. dies". WTVA.com. Archived from the original on 2016-01-28. Retrieved 2016-01-28.