CLIFFORD MITCHELL WALKER, Georgia’s 52nd governor, was born in Monroe, Georgia, on July 4, 1877. He graduated from the University of Georgia Law School in 1897, was admitted to the bar that same year, and established a successful legal career in Atlanta. Walker entered politics in 1905, as mayor of Monroe, a position he held for two years. He also served as solicitor general of Georgia’s Western Judicial Circuit from 1909 to 1913, and as Georgia’s attorney general from 1914 to 1919. On November 7, 1922, Walker won election as Governor of Georgia, and on June 30, 1923, he was sworn into office. He was reelected to a second term in 1924. During his tenure, the state forestry commission was established, a motor vehicle law was amended, and a state auditing and revenue department was founded. Walker drew criticism when he consulted with Ku Klux Klan members on issues regarding state policy. He was denounced by the press and revealed as being a member of the Klan in 1924. The state also received unwelcome press due to the brutal handling of prisoners, which led to the elimination of the use of lashes in prisons. After leaving office on June 25, 1927, Walker served on the Georgia Bureau of Unemployment Compensation as general counsel, and as president of the Woodrow Wilson Law School, serving in the latter until his death. Governor Clifford M. Walker died on November 9, 1954, and he is buried at the Old Baptist Cemetery near Monroe, Georgia.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.