TALMADGE, Herman Eugene (1913-2002)

TALMADGE, HERMAN EUGENE, a Senator from Georgia; born on a farm near McRae, Telfair County, Ga., August 9, 1913; attended the public schools in McRae; received a law degree from the University of Georgia at Athens in 1936; admitted to the bar in 1936 and commenced the practice of law in Atlanta, Ga.; volunteered for service in the United States Navy in 1941; saw extensive action in the Pacific theater, attained rank of lieutenant commander and was discharged in November 1945; upon the death of his father, Governor-elect Eugene Talmadge, was elected to the governorship by the State legislature in 1947; served sixty-seven days, then vacated the office due to a decision of the State supreme court; elected in September 1948 to fill the unexpired term; reelected in 1950 and served until January 1955; farmer; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1956; reelected in 1962, 1968 and 1974 and served from January 3, 1957, to January 3, 1981; unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1980; denounced by the Senate in 1979 for financial misconduct; chairman, Committee on Agriculture and Forestry (Ninety-second through Ninety-fifth Congresses), Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry (Ninety-fifth and Ninety-sixth Congresses); resumed the practice of law; was a resident of Hampton, Ga., until his death on March 21, 2002; buried on family farm near Hampton, Ga.

Alabama Department of Archives and History
Montgomery, AL
Papers: In James E. Folsom papers, 1938-1981.

Atlanta History Center
Atlanta, GA
Papers: In Henry B. Troutman papers, 1821-1974.

Columbia University
Oral History Project
New York, NY
Oral History: 1975. 132 leaves. Reminiscences including father's political career, law practice, campaigns, assessments of political leaders, and race and segregation issues. Permission required to cite, quote, or reproduce.

Emory University
Robert W. Woodruff Library
Atlanta, GA
Papers: Ca. 150 items (1940-1980) scattered among 12 collections including correspondence in Martha Wren Gaines papers, 1962-1987; Robert Jesse Travis papers, 1818-1966; Emily Woodward papers, 1918-1966; Cullen Bryant Gosnell papers, 1919-1964; Mildred Seydell papers, 1842-1978; Richard Rich papers, 1902-1981; Helen Bullard papers, 1920-1979; William Berry Hartsfield papers, 1892-1980; and recorded interviews in WSB Radio Station collection, 1955-1980.

Gerald R. Ford Library
Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: 1974-1977. Correspondence and briefing papers. Finding aid.

Georgia Historical Society
Savannah, GA
Papers: 2 letters.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Library
Austin, TX
Oral History: July 17, 1969. 34 pages.

John F. Kennedy Library
Boston, MA
Oral History: 1966. 38 pages.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
New York, NY
Papers: In Stetson Kennedy collection, 1916-1950, on 4 microfilm reels.

Sioux City Public Museum
Sioux City, IA
Papers: Correspondence in Thomas Barnett Huff papers, 1907-1968.

University of Georgia
Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
Athens, GA
Papers: 1945-1987. 1032.75 linear feet. Correspondence, speeches, documents, audiovisual material, photographs, and memorabilia relating to his political career. Organized into fourteen series: pre-governor; gubernatorial; early Senate; press; civil rights; Watergate; administration; political; patronage; legislation; personal; mailing lists; cross-reference files; and Rogers Wade files. Topics relate to work on Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, Democratic Policy Committee, Finance Committee Subcommittee on Health, Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities (Watergate), and Veterans' Affairs Committee, and material relating to his father, Eugene Talmadge (1884-1946). Finding aid. Case files are closed for 75 years from their creation.
Additional Papers: Correspondence in Maston O'Neal papers, 1963-1971; and Robert G. Stephens papers, 1961-1976.
Oral History: 1971. 27 pages. Limited to reminiscences of Russell.

University of Michigan
Bentley Historical Library
Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: Correspondence in Stella Brunt Osborn papers, 1916-1983; Chase Salmon Osborn papers, 1889-1949; Margaret Bayne Price papers, 1918-1969; and George Francis Lemble papers, 1958-1968. Finding aid.

West Georgia College
Ingram Library
Carrollton, GA
Oral History: 1985-1987. 872 pages. 36 two-hour video tapes coverning his political career in Georgia and U.S. Senate. Topics include campaigns, World War II, segregation, his father, and U.S. presidents.
Oral History: Discussed in two-hour interviews (1987-1989) with Will Ball, Senate administrative assistant; Rogers Wade, Senate administrative assistant; and Eileen Tisdale, personal secretary.

  • Hackbart-Dean, Pamela. "'The Greatest Civic Lesson in Our History': Herman Talmadge and Watergate from a Twenty-five-Year Perspective." Georgia Historical Quarterly 83 (Summer1999): 314-21.
  • ___. "Herman E. Talmadge: From Civil Rights to Watergate.'' Georgia Historical Quarterly 77 (Spring 1993): 145-57.
  • Mellichamp, Josephine. "Herman E. Talmadge.'' In Senators from Georgia, pp. 261-83. Huntsville, AL: Strode Publishers, 1976.
  • Talmadge, Herman Eugene. You and Segregation. Birmingham: Vulcan Press, 1955.
  • Talmadge, Herman E., with Mark Royden Winchell. Talmadge, a Political Legacy, a Politican's Life: A Memoir. Atlanta: Peachtree Publishers, 1987.