Mack Mattingly

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Mack Francis Mattingly
United States Senator
from Georgia
In office
January 3, 1981 – January 3, 1987
Preceded by Herman E. Talmadge
Succeeded by W. Wyche Fowler, Jr.
United States Ambassador to Seychelles
In office
September 22, 1992 – March 1, 1993
Appointed by George H.W. Bush
Preceded by Dick Carlson
Succeeded by Carl Stokes
Personal details
Born ( 1931-01-07) January 7, 1931 (age 86)
Anderson, Indiana
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) (1) Carolyn Mattingly, 1957–1997
(2) Leslie Davisson Mattingly, 1998–present
Children Jane, Anne
Alma mater Indiana University
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Air Force
Years of service 1951-1955
Unit Hunter Army Air Field

Mack Francis Mattingly (born January 7, 1931) served one term as a United States senator from Georgia, the first Republican to serve in the U.S. Senate from that state since Reconstruction.

Early life[edit]

Mattingly was born in Anderson, Indiana, on January 7, 1931. He served four years in the United States Air Force and was stationed at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia, in the early 1950s. In 1957, he earned a bachelor of science degree in marketing from Indiana University.[1] Afterward, he worked for twenty years for IBM Corporation in Georgia and later operated his own business, M's Inc., which sold office supplies and equipment in Brunswick, Georgia.

Early political career[edit]

Mattingly first became active in the Georgia Republican Party when he served as chairman of 8th District Goldwater for President in 1964.[2] He would become an unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives against W. S. Stuckey, Jr. in 1966. By 1968 he became a member of the Georgia Republican Party State Executive Committee and served as party vice-chair from 1968 until 1975. In 1975, he became chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, a position he held until 1977.

U.S. Senate tenure[edit]

In 1980, Mattingly unseated longtime Democratic Senator Herman Talmadge,[3] twelve years after Talmadge had defeated E. Earl Patton of Atlanta, the first of the three Republicans who ran against him. Mattingly served in the Senate from January 1981 until January 1987, with membership on the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations, chairing first the United States Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Legislative Branch and later the United States Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs. Mattingly also served at various times on the Senate Banking Committee, the Governmental Affairs Committee, the Joint Economic Committee and the Ethics Committee. He is perhaps best remembered as a proponent of the line-item veto, a position that earned him recognition by President Ronald Reagan during his 1985 State of the Union Address.

Mattingly served a single term in the Senate, and observers noted that he did not accomplish any lasting or landmark legislation during that time.[4]

Post senatorial career[edit]

In November 1986, Mattingly was defeated in his bid for re-election by former Congressman Wyche Fowler of Atlanta. In 1987, Reagan appointed Mattingly assistant secretary-general for defense support for NATO in Brussels, Belgium. In 1988, Mattingly received the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service. In 1992, President George H. W. Bush appointed Mattingly ambassador to Seychelles. He served in this position until 1993.

Mattingly ran against Democrat Zell Miller in the 2000 special election to replace the deceased Senator Paul Coverdell, but Miller succeeded in holding the seat to which he had been appointed.

Personal life[edit]

Mattingly married Carolyn Longcamp in 1957, and fathered two daughters, Jane and Anne. Carolyn Mattingly died in 1997. In 1998, he married Leslie Davisson. He currently lives on St. Simons Island, Georgia. He continues to be active in Republican politics, and he serves on a number of corporate boards. He endorsed Senator John McCain of Arizona for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Dowis, Richard: The lost art of the great speech: how to write it, how to deliver it. See page 207.
  2. ^ Lee Cokorinos, The Assault on Diversity: An Organized Challenge to Racial and Gender Justice, p. 108.
  3. ^ Minchin, Timothy J. (2015). "'An Historic Upset': Herman Talmadge's 1980 Senate Defeat and the End of a Political Dynasty". Georgia Historical Quarterly. 99 (3): 156–197. Retrieved 2 November 2016. 
  4. ^ Jones, Walter (2 August 2000). "Mattingly to rely on past service in Senate quest". Florida Times Union. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
United States Senate
Preceded by
Herman Talmadge
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Georgia
Served alongside: Sam Nunn
Succeeded by
Wyche Fowler, Jr.
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Richard W. Carlson
United States Ambassador to Seychelles
Succeeded by
F. Stephen Malott
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jerry Johnson
Republican Party nominee for United States Senator from Georgia (Class 3)
1980, 1986
Succeeded by
Paul Coverdell
Preceded by
Paul Coverdell
Republican Party nominee for United States Senator from Georgia (Class 3)
Succeeded by
Johnny Isakson