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Oral history interview with Herman Talmadge, 1985 December 16

@ University of West Georgia. Special Collections


Herman Eugene Talmadge (1913-2002), son of former governor Eugene Talmadge, was born on August 9, 1913 in the small Telfair County town of McRae, Georgia. He earned his law degree from the University of Georgia in 1936, and practiced law for several years before joining the U.S. Navy during World War II, where he saw extensive combat in the South Pacific. In 1946, Talmadge ran his father's successful Democratic race for governor, though the elder Talmadge died before he could take office. The state legislature elected Herman to take his father's place, but the Supreme Court of Georgia ruled the move unconstitutional. Talmadge vacated the governor's mansion, but came back to win a special election in 1948, and a full four years as governor in 1950. As was common at the time, he was an ardent segregationist, but implemented the first state sales tax as a way to improve public schools. In 1956, Talmadge was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he concentrated on agricultural issues and sponsored the creation of a food-stamp program. In 1980, he lost his seat to Republican Mack Mattingly. Talmadge retired to his home in Hampton, Georgia where he died on March 21, 2002.This interview took place at the University of West Georgia with Mel Steely and Don Wagner on December 16, 1985.This session is focused on Talmdage's reflections on his time in the Navy and during World War II. He discusses his experiences in the Navy and making his way through the war in...
Steely, MelWagner, DonUniversity of West Georgia. Georgia Political Papers and Oral History Program
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University of West Georgia. Special Collections

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Digital Library of Georgia