John S. Gibson
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Born near Folkston, Georgia, Gibson attended the common schools. He studied law by correspondence from La Salle Extension University, Chicago, Illinois. He was admitted to the bar in 1922 and commenced practice in Douglas, Georgia, in 1923. He served as solicitor of the city court of Douglas, Georgia from 1928 to 1934. He served as solicitor general of the Waycross judicial circuit from 1934 to 1940.
Gibson was elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-seventh, Seventy-eighth, and Seventy-ninth Congresses (January 3, 1941 – January 3, 1947). He was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1946. He resumed the practice of law. He died in Douglas, Georgia, October 19, 1960. He was interred in City Cemetery.
He was born in Charlton County on January 3, 1893, to William Owen Gibson and Julia Ann Vickery Gibson, and he was married to Bessie Thomas in April, 1917. After moving to Douglas, Georgia and graduating from Georgia State Normal College, he began his legal career at the office of George Mingledorff while he finished a correspondence course from LaSalle Extension University and prepared for the bar exam. He was an aggressive courtroom lawyer who specialized in cross-examination and was known for his innate ability to sense the mood of the jury and for his colorful and frequently caustic methods of argument. He became one of Georgia's most feared and admired attorneys, and his excellence as a trial lawyer led to his election in 1934 as solicitor general, a position equivalent to today's district attorney.
Gibson's popularity continued to grow, and he was elected as a Democrat to the United States Congress after the congressman from Georgia's Eighth District, W. Ben Gibbs, died in 1940.
Congressman Gibson served the public tirelessly through the difficult years of World War II, and he is credited with playing a decisive role in the passing of the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, better known as the G.I. Bill. During the week of the D-Day invasion of Normandy, a House and Senate conference committee was deadlocked on the bill which would provide housing, education, and job benefits to returning veterans. Congressman Gibson received word that the bill was in jeopardy while he was at home in Douglas, Georgia, recovering from an illness, and in a spectacular overnight journey, he rushed to Washington to remind his peers that American soldiers needed their full support.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
Florence R. Gibbs
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 8th congressional district
January 3, 1941 – January 3, 1947
William M. Wheeler
This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.