May 15

Carl Sanders

May 15, 1925 - Augusta

George Wallace he most definitely was not.

Carl Sanders was born in 1925 in Augusta. He served in the Air Force in World War II, then returned to the University of Georgia for his law degree. He entered politics on the fast track: elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1954, the state Senate two years later, and the governor’s chair in 1962. Sanders was the first governor elected after the Supreme Court ruled Georgia’s county unit system unconstitutional, meaning the state’s small rural counties would no longer dominate state politics.

Sanders appealed to urban voters, utilizing the new medium of television in his campaign, and easily won election as the country’s youngest governor at that time. Sanders progressive leadership helped Georgia avoid the more violent confrontations other Southern states faced during the civil rights movement. He streamlined and reformed much of state government and left office with a $140 million surplus.

The man called Georgia’s first New South governor was born on May 15, 1925, Today in Georgia History.