CHARLES CLIFTON (CLIFF) FINCH was born April 4, 1927, in Pope, Mississippi. He received his law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1958 and served in the U.S. Army during World War II. From 1960-64, Finch was a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives. He also served as district attorney of the 17th Circuit Court District from 1964 to 1972. During his successful 1975 gubernatorial run, Finch donned a hard hat, carried a lunch bucket, sacked groceries and drove bulldozers in his “working man” campaign. He entered the Democratic runoff against William Winter, vanquishing the candidate who would succeed him four years later. In 1976, Finch called a special session of the Legislature to restructure the state’s savings and loan associations, averting a financial crisis. He also succeeded in reuniting the long- separated Loyalist and Regular factions of the Mississippi Democratic Party. He built, however temporary, a coalition of black and white voters, and was instrumental in bringing the USA International Ballet Competition to Jackson. Governor Finch died of a heart attack on April 22, 1986; he is buried at Magnolia Cemetery in Batesville, Mississippi.
Governors of the American States, Commonwealths, and Territories, National Governors’ Conference, 1979.