Terry Sanford

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James Terry Sanford
Terry Sanford

In office
November 5, 1986January 3, 1993
Preceded by Jim Broyhill
Succeeded by Lauch Faircloth

Born August 20, 1917
Laurinburg, North Carolina
Died April 18, 1998 (aged 80)
Durham, North Carolina
Political party Democratic
Spouse Margaret Rose Knight
Religion Methodist

James Terry Sanford (August 20, 1917April 18, 1998) was a Southern Democratic politician. A native of North Carolina, he was a North Carolina state senator from 1953 to 1961, governor of North Carolina from 1961 to 1965, and United States Senator from 1986 to 1993. Sanford was noted for his progressive leadership in the fields of civil rights and education.


[edit] Youth

He was born in Laurinburg, North Carolina to Cecil and Elizabeth Sanford. Sanford became an Eagle Scout in Laurinburg's Troop 20 of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).[1] The BSA recognized him with their Distinguished Eagle Scout Award as an adult.[2]

He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

He served as a special agent in the FBI for two years. During World War II he enlisted as a private in the US Army as a paratrooper, parachuted into France in combat with the 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment, was awarded the Bronze Star, attained the rank of first lieutenant, and was discharged in 1946. He married Margaret Rose Knight on 4 July 1942, and had two children with her, a son, Terry Jr. and a daughter, Elizabeth.

[edit] Gubernatorial career

Sanford was elected to the governorship of North Carolina in 1961 and served to 1965. Driven by his belief that a person could accomplish anything with a good education, Sanford nearly doubled North Carolina's expenditures on public schools during his term. He consolidated the University of North Carolina school system to ensure its solvency and strength. He conceived the idea for the state's Governor's Schools for talented children. He established the North Carolina School of the Arts to keep creative children in their home state. And he fought for racial desegregation-even sent his son to a desegregated public school-at a time when such a position was politically unpopular and possibly dangerous. He also established the North Carolina Fund under the leadership of George Esser; it was meant to fight poverty and promote racial equality across the state.

Tax increases to finance these educational programs diminished Sanford's popularity and were energetically exploited by his political opponents.

In a 1968 book, President John F. Kennedy's secretary Evelyn Lincoln wrote that Kennedy had stated he intended to replace Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson with Terry Sanford on the Democratic ticket for the re-election campaign in 1964.

Additionally, Sanford used his leverage at the White House to blaze the trail for Research Triangle Park (RTP) which sparked an economic surge in the state, eventually luring IBM to the Triangle area.

[edit] Duke University

He served as President of Duke University from 1969 to 1985.

During his tenure as president of Duke University, he mounted two unsuccessful campaigns for the Democratic nomination for the presidency of the United States in 1972 and 1976. He received 77 1/2 votes for president at the 1972 Democratic National Convention, finishing fourth behind George McGovern (1,864.95), George Wallace (381.7) and Shirley Chisholm (151.95).

[edit] Senate career

Sanford won the Democratic nomination to succeed Senator John P. East in 1986. East committed suicide in July of that year, and Sanford's Republican opponent, Congressman Jim Broyhill, was appointed to hold the seat through November. Sanford defeated Broyhill by three percentage points in the November election. He took office a day later, as a special election to serve the last two months of East's term had taken place the same day.

Compared to most Southern Democrats, Sanford was fairly liberal. He chaired the Senate Select Ethics Committee in 1992. Following a serious heart ailment he lost his bid for reelection in 1992 against Lauch Faircloth, a former Democrat who turned Republican with substantial backing from the political organization of Sanford's Senate colleague, Jesse Helms.

[edit] Later life

Sanford spent the twilight of his life as vital as the young. He wrote books, taught and campaigned for the construction of a major performing arts center in the Triangle area that would provide a permanent home for the American Dance Festival, the North Carolina Symphony and the Carolina Ballet.

Sanford announced in late December 1997, that he had been diagnosed with inoperable esophageal cancer, and that his doctors had told him he had just a few months remaining. After his release from the hospital, Sanford's condition slowly deteriorated.

Sanford died peacefully in his sleep while surrounded by his family at his Durham, NC home. He was 80 years old. Sanford is entombed in Duke University's Chapel.

[edit] Legacy

Sanford's long and productive life touched countless Americans, and word of his passing was countered with words of praise from those who respected him.

According to President John F. Kennedy's personal secretary Evelyn Lincoln, Sanford was Kennedy's choice for vice president on the 1964 Democratic ticket. In 1968 she wrote a book titled Kennedy and Johnson in which she reported that President Kennedy told her that Lyndon B. Johnson would be replaced as Vice President. Lincoln wrote of that November 19, 1963 conversation, just before Kennedy was assassinated:

As Mr. Kennedy sat in the rocker in my office, his head resting on its back he placed his left leg across his right knee. He rocked slightly as he talked. In a slow pensive voice he said to me, 'You know if I am re-elected in sixty-four, I am going to spend more and more time toward making government service an honorable career. I would like to tailor the executive and legislative branches of government so that they can keep up with the tremendous strides and progress being made in other fields.' 'I am going to advocate changing some of the outmoded rules and regulations in the Congress, such as the seniority rule. To do this I will need as a running mate in sixty-four a man who believes as I do.' Mrs. Lincoln went on to write "I was fascinated by this conversation and wrote it down verbatim in my diary. Now I asked, 'Who is your choice as a running-mate?' 'He looked straight ahead, and without hesitating he replied, 'at this time I am thinking about Governor Terry Sanford of North Carolina. But it will not be Lyndon.

"His work and his influence literally changed the face and future of the South, making him one of the most influential Americans of the last 50 years," President Bill Clinton said in a statement issued from the Summit of the Americas in Santiago, Chile. "Most important, he was a wonderful man who fought for the right things in the right way. I was lucky to count him as my friend."

In recognition of Sanford's efforts in education and in countless other areas, a 1981 Harvard University survey named him one of the 10 best governors of the 20th century.

[edit] References

  1. ^ Townley, Alvin [2006-12-26]. Legacy of Honor: The Values and Influence of America's Eagle Scouts. New York: St. Martin's Press, pp. 30-31. ISBN 0-312-36653-1. Retrieved on December 29, 2006. 
  2. ^ Distinguished Eagle Scouts. Troop & Pack 179. Retrieved on March 2, 2006.

[edit] External links

See [1] Google.com

Terry Sanford for President 1976 Campaign Brochure reprint

Preceded by
Luther H. Hodges
Governor of North Carolina
Succeeded by
Dan K. Moore
Preceded by
Douglas Maitland Knight
President of Duke University
Succeeded by
H. Keith H. Brodie
Preceded by
James Thomas Broyhill
United States Senator (Class 3) from North Carolina
Served alongside: Jesse Helms
Succeeded by
Lauch Faircloth

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