List of Governors of Alabama

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Governor of Alabama
Seal of the Governor of Alabama.svg
Standard of the Governor of Alabama.svg
Robert Bentley.jpg
Incumbent
Robert J. Bentley

since January 17, 2011
Style The Honorable
Residence Alabama Governor's Mansion
Term length Four years, can succeed self once
Inaugural holder William Wyatt Bibb
Formation December 14, 1819
Deputy Lieutenant Governor of Alabama
Salary $119,950 (2013)[1]
Website http://www.governor.state.al.us

The Governor of Alabama is the chief executive of the U.S. state of Alabama. The governor is the head of the executive branch of Alabama's state government and is charged with enforcing state laws. The governor has the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Alabama Legislature, to convene the legislature, and to grant pardons, except in cases of impeachment.[2] The governor is also the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces.

There have officially been 53 governors of the state of Alabama; this official numbering skips acting and military governors.[3] The first governor, William Wyatt Bibb, served as the only governor of the Alabama Territory. Five people have served as acting governor, bringing the total number of people serving as governor to 58, spread over 63 distinct terms. Four governors have served multiple non-consecutive terms: Bibb Graves, Jim Folsom, and Fob James each served two, and George Wallace served three non-consecutive periods. Officially, these non-consecutive terms are numbered only with the number of their first term. William D. Jelks also served non-consecutive terms, but his first term was in an acting capacity.

The longest-serving governor was George Wallace, who served sixteen years over four terms. The shortest term for a non-acting governor was that of Hugh McVay, who served four and a half months after replacing the resigning Clement Comer Clay. Lurleen Wallace, wife of George Wallace, was the first and so far only woman to serve as governor of Alabama, and the third woman to serve as governor of any state. The current governor is Republican Robert J. Bentley, who took office on January 17, 2011.

Governors[edit]

Governor of the Territory of Alabama[edit]

For the period before Alabama Territory was formed, see the list of Governors of Mississippi Territory.

Alabama Territory was formed on March 3, 1817, from Mississippi Territory. It had only one governor appointed by the President of the United States before it became a state; he became the first state governor.

Picture Governor Term in office Appointed by
Portrait of a man facing the right. William Wyatt Bibb March 6, 1817[a]

December 14, 1819
James Monroe

Governors of the State of Alabama[edit]

Seal for use by the Governor-Elect
Governor's Flag 1868–1939

Alabama was admitted to the Union on December 14, 1819. It seceded from the Union on January 11, 1861 and was a founding member of the Confederate States of America on February 4, 1861; there was no Union Alabama government in exile, so there was a single line of governors. Following the end of the American Civil War, Alabama during Reconstruction was part of the Third Military District, which exerted some control over governor appointments and elections. Alabama was readmitted to the Union on July 14, 1868.

The first Alabama Constitution, ratified in 1819, provided that a governor be elected every two years, limited to serve no more than four out of every six years.[5] This limit remained in place until the constitution of 1868, which simply allowed governors to serve terms of two years.[6] The current constitution of 1901 increased terms to four years,[7] but prohibited governors from succeeding themselves.[8] Amendment 282 to the constitution, passed in 1968, allowed governors to succeed themselves once.[9] The constitution had no set date for the commencement of a governor's term until 1901, when it was set at the first Monday after the second Tuesday in the January following an election.[8]

The office of lieutenant governor was created in 1868,[10] abolished in 1875,[11] and recreated in 1901.[12] According to the current constitution, should the governor be out of the state for more than 20 days, the lieutenant governor becomes acting governor, and if the office of governor becomes vacant the lieutenant governor fully becomes governor.[13] Earlier constitutions said the powers of the governor devolved upon the successor, rather than them necessarily becoming governor,[14] but the official listing includes these as full governors.[3] The governor and lieutenant governor are not elected on the same ticket.

Alabama was a strongly Democratic state before the Civil War, electing only candidates from the Democratic-Republican and Democratic parties. It had two Republican governors following Reconstruction, but after the Democratic Party re-established control, 112 years passed before voters chose another Republican.

Parties

      Democratic (52)[b]       Democratic-Republican (3)       Independent (1)       Military (1)[c]       Republican (6)[d]

#[e] Picture Governor Term in office Party Term[f] Lt. Governor[g][h]
1 William Wyatt Bibb.jpg   William Wyatt Bibb December 14, 1819

July 10, 1820
Democratic-
Republican
1
(1819)
[i]
Office did not exist
2 Governor Thomas Bibb.jpg Thomas Bibb July 10, 1820

November 9, 1821
Democratic-
Republican
3 Pickensisrael.jpg Israel Pickens November 9, 1821

November 25, 1825
Democratic-
Republican
2
(1821)
3
(1823)
4 John murphy.jpg John Murphy November 25, 1825

November 25, 1829
Jackson
Democrat
4
(1825)
5
(1827)
5 Gabrielmoore.jpg Gabriel Moore November 25, 1829

March 3, 1831
Jackson
Democrat
6
(1829)
[j]
6 Blank.JPG Samuel B. Moore March 3, 1831

November 26, 1831
Democratic
7 JohnGayle.jpg John Gayle November 26, 1831

November 21, 1835
Democratic 7
(1831)
8
(1833)
8 Clement Comer Clay.jpg Clement Comer Clay November 21, 1835

July 17, 1837
Democratic 9
(1835)
[k]
9 Hugh McVay.jpg Hugh McVay July 17, 1837

November 30, 1837
Democratic
10 Arthur bagby.jpg Arthur P. Bagby November 30, 1837

November 22, 1841
Democratic 10
(1837)
11
(1839)
11 Hon. Benjamin Fitzpatrick, Ala - NARA - 528657.jpg Benjamin Fitzpatrick November 22, 1841

December 10, 1845
Democratic 12
(1841)
13
(1843)
12 Gov. Joshua L. Martin.jpg Joshua L. Martin December 10, 1845

December 16, 1847
Independent[l] 14
(1845)
13 Governor Reuben Chapman.jpg Reuben Chapman December 16, 1847

December 17, 1849
Democratic 15
(1847)
14 Governor Henry Watkins Collier.jpg Henry W. Collier December 17, 1849

December 20, 1853
Democratic 16
(1849)
17
(1851)
15 Blank.JPG John A. Winston December 20, 1853

December 1, 1857
Democratic 18
(1853)
19
(1855)
16 Blank.JPG Andrew B. Moore December 1, 1857

December 2, 1861
Democratic 20
(1857)
21
(1859)
17 Blank.JPG John Gill Shorter December 2, 1861

December 1, 1863
Democratic 22
(1861)
18 Thomas Hill Watts 1860s.jpg Thomas H. Watts December 1, 1863

May 1, 1865
Democratic 23
(1863)
[m]
Interregnum May 1, 1865

June 21, 1865
19 Lewis E. Parsons - Brady-Handy.jpg Lewis E. Parsons June 21, 1865

December 13, 1865
Democratic
20 Robert patton.jpg Robert M. Patton December 13, 1865

July 24, 1868
Pre-War Whig 24
(1865)
[n]
WSwayne.jpg Wager Swayne March 2, 1867

January 11, 1868
Military
21 Blank.JPG William Hugh Smith July 24, 1868

November 26, 1870
Republican 25
(1868)
[o]
  Andrew J. Applegate
(August 13, 1868 – August 21, 1870)[p]
Vacant
August 21, 1870 – November 26, 1870
22 Blank.JPG Robert B. Lindsay November 26, 1870

November 17, 1872
Democratic 26
(1870)
[o]
Edward H. Moren
23 Blank.JPG David P. Lewis November 17, 1872

November 24, 1874
Republican 27
(1872)
Alexander McKinstry
24 George S. Houston - Brady-Handy.jpg George S. Houston November 24, 1874

November 28, 1878
Democratic 28
(1874)
Robert F. Ligon
29
(1876)
Office did not exist
25 Rufus W, Cobb.jpg Rufus W. Cobb November 28, 1878

December 1, 1882
Democratic 30
(1878)
31
(1880)
26 EAO'Neal.jpg Edward A. O'Neal December 1, 1882

December 1, 1886
Democratic 32
(1882)
33
(1884)
27 GOVTHOMASSEAY.JPG Thomas Seay December 1, 1886

December 1, 1890
Democratic 34
(1886)
35
(1888)
28 Thomas Goode Jones CSA.jpg Thomas G. Jones December 1, 1890

December 1, 1894
Democratic 36
(1890)
37
(1892)
29 Governor William Calvin Oates.jpg William C. Oates December 1, 1894

December 1, 1896
Democratic 38
(1894)
30 Joseph F Johnston-photo portrait.jpg Joseph F. Johnston December 1, 1896

December 1, 1900
Democratic 39
(1896)
40
(1898)
William D. Jelks.jpg William D. Jelks December 1, 1900

December 26, 1900
Democratic 41
(1900)
[q]
31 Governor William James Samford.jpg William J. Samford December 1, 1900

June 11, 1901
Democratic
32 William D. Jelks.jpg William D. Jelks June 11, 1901

January 14, 1907
Democratic
42
(1902)
[r]
Russell M. Cunningham
Russell McWhortor Cunningham ca 1904.png Russell M. Cunningham April 25, 1904

March 5, 1905
Democratic
[s]
Acting as governor
33 Braxton Bragg Comer.jpg B. B. Comer January 14, 1907

January 17, 1911
Democratic 43
(1906)
Henry B. Gray
34 O'Neal1913.jpg Emmet O'Neal January 17, 1911

January 18, 1915
Democratic 44
(1910)
Walter D. Seed, Sr.
35 Governor Charles Henderson.jpg Charles Henderson January 18, 1915

January 20, 1919
Democratic 45
(1914)
Thomas Kilby
36 Thomas Kilby.jpg Thomas Kilby January 20, 1919

January 15, 1923
Democratic 46
(1918)
Nathan Lee Miller
37 Governor William W. Brandon.jpg William W. Brandon January 15, 1923

January 17, 1927
Democratic 47
(1922)
Charles S. McDowell
Blank.JPG Charles S. McDowell July 10, 1924

July 11, 1924
Democratic
[t]
Acting as governor
38 Bibb Graves.jpg Bibb Graves January 17, 1927

January 19, 1931
Democratic 48
(1926)
William C. Davis
39 Blank.JPG Benjamin M. Miller January 19, 1931

January 14, 1935
Democratic 49
(1930)
Hugh Davis Merrill
38 Bibb Graves.jpg Bibb Graves January 14, 1935

January 17, 1939
Democratic 50
(1934)
Thomas E. Knight
(January 14, 1935 – May 17, 1937)[p]
Vacant
May 17, 1937 – January 17, 1939
40 Blank.JPG Frank M. Dixon January 17, 1939

January 19, 1943
Democratic 51
(1938)
Albert A. Carmichael
41 Blank.JPG Chauncey Sparks January 19, 1943

January 20, 1947
Democratic 52
(1942)
Leven H. Ellis
42 Blank.JPG Jim Folsom January 20, 1947

January 15, 1951
Democratic 53
(1946)
James C. Inzer
43 Blank.JPG Gordon Persons January 15, 1951

January 17, 1955
Democratic 54
(1950)
James Allen
42 Blank.JPG Jim Folsom January 17, 1955

January 19, 1959
Democratic 55
(1954)
William G. Hardwick
44 Blank.JPG John M. Patterson January 19, 1959

January 14, 1963
Democratic 56
(1958)
Albert Boutwell
45 George C Wallace.jpg George Wallace January 14, 1963

January 16, 1967
Democratic 57
(1962)
James Allen
46 Lurleen Wallace January 16, 1967

May 7, 1968
Democratic 58
(1966)
[u]
Albert Brewer
47 Brewer cropped.JPG Albert Brewer May 7, 1968

January 18, 1971
Democratic Vacant
45 George C Wallace.jpg George Wallace January 18, 1971

January 15, 1979
Democratic 59
(1970)
Jere Beasley
60
(1974)
Jere Beasley.JPG Jere Beasley June 5, 1972

July 7, 1972
Democratic
[v]
Acting as governor
48 Blank.JPG Fob James January 15, 1979

January 17, 1983
Democratic 61
(1978)
George McMillan
45 George C Wallace.jpg George Wallace January 17, 1983

January 19, 1987
Democratic 62
(1982)
Bill Baxley
49 Blank.JPG H. Guy Hunt January 19, 1987

April 22, 1993
Republican 63
(1986)
Jim Folsom, Jr.[w]
64
(1990)
[x]
50 Blank.JPG Jim Folsom, Jr. April 22, 1993

January 16, 1995
Democratic Vacant
48 Blank.JPG Fob James January 16, 1995

January 18, 1999
Republican 65
(1994)
Don Siegelman[w]
51 Don Siegelman at Netroots Nation 2008.jpg Don Siegelman January 18, 1999

January 20, 2003
Democratic 66
(1998)
Steve Windom[y]
52 Governor Bob Riley.jpg Bob Riley January 20, 2003

January 17, 2011
Republican 67
(2002)
Lucy Baxley[w]
68
(2006)
Jim Folsom, Jr.[w]
53 Robert Bentley.jpg Robert J. Bentley January 17, 2011

Incumbent
Republican 69
(2010)
Kay Ivey
70
(2014)
[z]

Other high offices held[edit]

Nineteen of Alabama's governors have served other high offices, including one ambassador and one Confederate cabinet member. Fifteen represented Alabama in the U.S. Congress, while two represented Alabama in the Provisional Confederate Congress. Additionally, two were elected to the U.S. Senate shortly after the American Civil War, but were not allowed to take office.

Governor Other offices held Source
William Wyatt Bibb Representative from Georgia
Senator from Georgia
[26]
Israel Pickens Representative from North Carolina
Senator from Alabama
[27]
John Murphy Representative from Alabama [28]
Gabriel Moore Representative from Alabama
Senator from Alabama
[29]
John Gayle Representative from Alabama [30]
Clement Comer Clay Representative from Alabama
Senator from Alabama
[31]
Arthur P. Bagby Senator from Alabama
Minister to Russia
[32]
Benjamin Fitzpatrick Senator from Alabama (including as President pro tempore) [33]
Joshua L. Martin Representative from Alabama [34]
Reuben Chapman Representative from Alabama [35]
John A. Winston Elected to represent Alabama in the Senate but was refused his seat [36]
John Gill Shorter Provisional Confederate Deputy from Alabama [37]
Thomas H. Watts Confederate States Attorney General [38]
Lewis E. Parsons Elected to represent Alabama in the Senate but was refused his seat [17]
David P. Lewis Provisional Confederate Deputy from Alabama [39]
George S. Houston Representative from Alabama
Senator from Alabama
[40]
William C. Oates Representative from Alabama [41]
Joseph F. Johnston Senator from Alabama [42]
William J. Samford Representative from Alabama [43]
B. B. Comer Senator from Alabama [44]
Bob Riley Representative from Alabama [45]

Living former governors[edit]

There are six living former governors of Alabama, the oldest being John M. Patterson. The most recent death of a former governor was that of H. Guy Hunt (1987-1993) on January 30, 2009.

Governor Years in office Date of birth (and age)
John M. Patterson 1959–1963 (1921-09-27) September 27, 1921 (age 94)
Albert Brewer 1968–1971 (1928-10-26) October 26, 1928 (age 87)
Fob James 1979–1983
1995–1999
(1934-09-15) September 15, 1934 (age 81)
Jim Folsom, Jr. 1993–1995 (1949-05-14) May 14, 1949 (age 66)
Don Siegelman 1999–2003 (1946-02-24) February 24, 1946 (age 69)
Bob Riley 2003–2011 (1944-10-03) October 3, 1944 (age 71)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Records are scarce as to when Bibb was actually appointed. The territory was formed on March 3, 1817, but he was appointed by President James Monroe, who did not take office until the next day. Other resources indicate that other major appointments for the territory were made on March 6, 1817.[4]
  2. ^ Includes four terms served by repeat governors and four terms served by acting governors.
  3. ^ The military governor is not included in the official numbering.
  4. ^ Includes one term served by a repeat governor.
  5. ^ Repeat governors are officially numbered only once; subsequent terms are marked with their original number italicized.
  6. ^ Each term for which a governor is elected is listed here; if multiple governors served in a single term, due to resignations, deaths, and the like, then that term will be shared among those governors. If a governor was elected multiple times, then there will be multiple terms listed for that governor.
  7. ^ The office of Lieutenant Governor was created in the 1868 constitution,[10] abolished in the 1875 Constitution,[11] and recreated in the 1901 Constitution.[12]
  8. ^ Lieutenant governors represented the same party as their governor unless noted.
  9. ^ William Wyatt Bibb died in office; as president of the senate, Thomas Bibb became governor.
  10. ^ Gabriel Moore resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate. As president of the senate, Samuel B. Moore became governor.
  11. ^ Clay resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate. As president of the senate, McVay became governor.
  12. ^ Martin was a Democrat who opposed party leaders and ran as an independent.[15]
  13. ^ Watts was arrested by Union forces soon after the American Civil War ended; he was released a few weeks later.[16] Parsons was appointed provisional governor by the Union occupation. Between Watts's arrest and Parsons's appointment, Alabama had no governor, and was under the direct rule of General George Henry Thomas.[17]
  14. ^ The United States Congress stripped Patton of most of his authority in March 1867, after which time the state was effectively under the control of Major General Swayne.[18] The start date given for Swayne the date of the first Reconstruction Act, which placed Alabama into the Third Military District; all references only say "March 1867"[18] and "when the Reconstruction Acts were passed".[19] In December 1867, President Andrew Johnson ordered the removal of General Swayne, and he was replaced on January 11, 1868, by General Julius Hayden.[20]
  15. ^ a b Lindsay was sworn into office on November 26, 1870, but Smith refused to leave his seat for two weeks, claiming Lindsay was fraudulently elected, finally leaving office on December 8, 1870, when a court so ordered.[21]
  16. ^ a b Died in office.
  17. ^ At the start of Samford's term, he was out of state seeking medical treatment. As president of the senate, Jelks acted as governor in his absence. Samford later died in office, and Jelks became governor.[22]
  18. ^ The 1901 constitution increased term lengths from two to four years.
  19. ^ Jelks was out of state for medical treatment for nearly a year, thus Cunningham acted as governor for that time.[23]
  20. ^ McDowell, as lieutenant governor, acted as governor for two days when Brandon was out of state for 21 days as a delegate for the 1924 Democratic National Convention.[3]
  21. ^ Wallace left the state for 20 days for medical treatment; as lieutenant governor, Brewer became acting governor on July 25, 1967. Wallace returned to the state later that day.[3][24] Wallace later died in office, and Brewer became governor.
  22. ^ Beasley was lieutenant governor when Wallace spent 52 days in Maryland for medical treatment following an assassination attempt while campaigning for President of the United States; thus he was acting governor for 32 days.[3]
  23. ^ a b c d Represented the Democratic Party.
  24. ^ Hunt was removed from office upon being convicted of illegally using campaign and inaugural funds to pay personal debts; he was later pardoned by the state parole board based on innocence.[25] As lieutenant governor, Folsom became governor.
  25. ^ Represented the Republican Party.
  26. ^ Governor Bentley's second term expires on January 14, 2019; he will be term limited.

References[edit]

General
Constitutions
Specific
  1. ^ "CSG Releases 2013 Governor Salaries". The Council of State Governments. June 25, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  2. ^ AL Const., art. V.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Alabama Governors". Alabama Department of Archives and History. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  4. ^ Shearer, Benjamin. The Uniting States – The Story of Statehood for the Fifty United States, Volume 1: Alabama to Kentucky. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. p. 41. Retrieved August 2, 2010. 
  5. ^ 1819 Const. art. IV, § 4
  6. ^ 1868 Const. art. V, § 2
  7. ^ AL Const. art. V, § 114
  8. ^ a b AL Const. art. V, § 116
  9. ^ AL Const. amendment 282
  10. ^ a b 1868 Const. art. V, § 1
  11. ^ a b 1875 Const. art. V, § 1
  12. ^ a b AL Const. art. V, § 112
  13. ^ AL Const. art. V, § 127
  14. ^ 1819 Const. art. IV, § 18; 1861 Const. art. IV, § 18; 1865 Const. art V, § 19; 1868 Const. art. V, § 15; 1875 Const. art. V § 15
  15. ^ "Alabama Governor Joshua Lanier Martin". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Alabama Governor Thomas Hill Watts". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  17. ^ a b "Alabama Governor Lewis Eliphalet Parsons". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  18. ^ a b "Alabama Governor Robert Miller Patton". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Alabama Governor Robert Patton". Alabama Department of Archives & History. Retrieved October 13, 2008. 
  20. ^ "Wager T. Swayne". Encyclopedia of Alabama. Retrieved September 21, 2015. 
  21. ^ White, James Terry (1900). The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography. James T. White & Company. p. 435. Retrieved January 18, 2008. 
  22. ^ "Alabama Governor William Jelks". Alabama Department of Archives & History. Retrieved October 13, 2008. 
  23. ^ "Alabama Governor Russell Cunningham". Alabama Department of Archives & History. Retrieved October 13, 2008. 
  24. ^ Owen, Thomas McAdory (1979). Alabama Official and Statistical Register. Alabama Department of Archives & History. p. 17. Retrieved September 28, 2008. 
  25. ^ Nossiter, Adam (12 June 1997). "Ex-Gov. Hunt of Alabama Cleared by Pardon Board". The New York Times. p. 18. Retrieved September 28, 2008. 
  26. ^ "Bibb, William Wyatt". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 13, 2008. 
  27. ^ "Pickens, Israel". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 13, 2008. 
  28. ^ "Murphy, John". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 13, 2008. 
  29. ^ "Moore, Gabriel". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 13, 2008. 
  30. ^ "Gayle, John". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 13, 2008. 
  31. ^ "Clay, Clement Comer". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 13, 2008. 
  32. ^ "Bagby, Arthur Pendleton". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 15, 2015. 
  33. ^ "Fitzpatrick, Benjamin". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 13, 2008. 
  34. ^ "Martin, Joshua Lanier". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 13, 2008. 
  35. ^ "Chapman, Reuben". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 13, 2008. 
  36. ^ "Alabama Governor John Anthony Winston". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 15, 2015. 
  37. ^ "Alabama Governor John Gill Shorter". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 15, 2015. 
  38. ^ "Alabama Governor Thomas Hill Watts". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 15, 2015. 
  39. ^ "Alabama Governor David Peter Lewis". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 15, 2015. 
  40. ^ "Houston, George Smith". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 13, 2008. 
  41. ^ "Oates, William Calvin". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved August 12, 2015. 
  42. ^ "Johnston, Joseph Forney". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 13, 2008. 
  43. ^ "Samford, William James". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 13, 2008. 
  44. ^ "Comer, Braxton Bragg". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 13, 2008. 
  45. ^ "Riley, Robert". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 13, 2008. 

External links[edit]