He was the author of the Republican revolution of 1994—and one of the most powerful and polarizing leaders in Georgia history.
Newton Leroy Gingrich was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in 1943. With his father stationed at Fort Benning, Gingrich graduated from Baker High School in Columbus. He earned a history degree from Emory and a Ph.D. from Tulane. He began teaching at West Georgia College in Carrollton. In 1979, Gingrich won election to Congress as a Republican from Georgia—unheard of at that time— and became one of the young energetic conservatives that re-shaped the party following Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980.
His hard work paid off in 1994, when Republicans won a majority in both houses of Congress for the first time in over 40 years. As Speaker of the House, Gingrich became the powerful voice of opposition to President Bill Clinton, and a polarizing figure in heated partisan debates.
After Clinton’s re-election in 1996 and unexpected Democratic victories nationwide in 1998, Gingrich announced his resignation from Congress—and the end of an era–on November 6, 1998, Today in Georgia History.