MacDonald Gallion

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MacDonald Gallion (April 5, 1913 – August 11, 2007) served as the Attorney General of Alabama for two non-consecutive terms from 1959 until 1963 and again from 1967 until 1971.

Gallion was born in 1913 in Montgomery. He attended Lakeview Grammar School, Paul Hyne and Phillips High Schools in Birmingham. He was a member of the Presbyterian church.

Gallion attended the University of Alabama from 1931 until 1937, when he received his law degree. He then began the practice of law. While a student, he was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.

Gallion married his wife Velma Lee on July 10, 1942 in Oneonta. Together, they had a son and a daughter.

During World War II, Gallion served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1942 until 1945. He rose to the rank of 1st Lieutenant and saw combat in the Central Pacific and was wounded at Saipan.

After the war, Gallion served as a special counsel for the State of Alabama in the Phenix City trials. He served as the Chief Assistant Attorney General during the tenure of then-Attorney General John M. Patterson from 1955 to 1959.

Gallion was elected Attorney General in 1958 as a Democrat for the 1959–1963 term of office. In-eligible to seek a second consecutive term in 1962, he opted to run for governor but lost the Democratic primary to George C. Wallace. He successfully sought re-election to his old office of Attorney General four years later in 1966. Prior to the 1970 elections, the state legislature changed the law allowing statewide elected officials to serve a second consecutive term. In what was considered an upset, he lost re-nomination in 1970 to Bill Baxley, then the Houston County District Attorney. In the primary campaign, Baxley had successfully created a widely viewed public impression, whether accurate or not, that he himself would be a better ally of George Wallace.

During his tenure as Attorney General, Gallion successfully led litigation that established Alabama's offshore oil and gas rights. This helped the state later establish what is now a multimillion-dollar trust fund.

Gallion was a Mason. He was also a member of the Loyal Order of Moose, Elks and Woodmen of the World. He died on August 11, 2007.


Alabama Department of Archives and History, Official and Statistical Register, 1967, 59.

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Legal offices
Preceded by
John M. Patterson
Attorney General of Alabama
Succeeded by
Richmond Flowers
Preceded by
Richmond Flowers
Attorney General of Alabama
Succeeded by
Bill Baxley