WILLIAM A. ALLAIN was born in 1928 in Washington, Mississippi. He completed pre-law studies at the University of Notre Dame and received his law degree from the University of Mississippi. He served in the U.S. Army Infantry during the Korean War and after his honorable discharge, practiced law. In 1962, he accepted a position as assistant attorney general, serving until 1975. In 1979, Allain was elected Mississippi's attorney general of Mississippi. Allain had a role in most of Mississippi's major federal cases of the era. In 1962, his first year as an assistant attorney general, he represented the state as then Governor Ross Barnett tried to block James Meredith from enrolling as the first black student at the University of Mississippi. He was among the first lawyers to represent the state in a prison crowding case and the Ayers college desegregation case, both dating from the 1970s. He was elected governor of Mississippi in 1983. While the ban on gubernatorial succession in the state was lifted in 1986, and Allain was the first Mississippi governor in modern times who could've sought back-to-back terms, he opted not to run again. He went back into private law practice after his term as governor.
Mississippi Historical Society