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Her Husband Was Willing To Let Her Die So She Could Become Governor

Encyclopedia of Alabama/Twitter

Politics in the U.S. can become quite the experience, specifically when one person or party desperately wants to remain in power. Nothing depicts this more strongly than the case of Lurleen Wallace, the one-time governor of Alabama.

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Lurleen would be elected as the Governor of Alabama in 1966, and was inaugurated into office in January 1967. This wasn't your typical electoral dreams, Lurleen actually replaced her husband in office because he was not constitutionally allowed to run again due to term limits.

There is no other way to put this, George Wallace forced his wife to run so that he could run the show from behind the scenes.  

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George wanted to have power back so badly that he was willing to sacrifice his wife in order to see it through. See, Lurleen was hiding a painful secret the entire time she was running the race: she had been diagnosed with cancer, and she had to fight it through the entire grueling race for governorship. She had a cancerous tumor on her pelvis that was painfully pushing on the nerves in her back.

In Alabama, during the 60s, winning the democratic nomination for any elected position essentially meant you were a shoe-in for the job, and Lurleen ended up winning. But how long would her time as Governor last with the cancer destroying her body?

Alabama Department of Archives and History - Alabama.gov

George Wallace decided that he was going to use his wife's new found position to try and go for the top job, President of the United States. But as Lurleen's health continued to deteriorate, Geroge had to at least pretend to focus on his wife. She even convinced him to cancel a campaign stop in Michigan. He continually lied to the press, saying that Lurleen had beaten her cancer, but during her last few public appearances, it was quite clear that she was still quite ill, weighing in at barely 80 pounds.

Lurleen passed away on May 7, 1968, after serving just over a year as Governor. Her wake was held at the Alabama Capitol building, and people lined up for over 5 hours just to pay their respects.

By all accounts she was a brilliant woman who would have done a great job for the people of Alabama, and the rest of the United States, if only she had not been taken away too soon by cancer.

Share this in the memory of Lurleen Wallace.