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David Bibb Graves

Gov. David Bibb Graves

  • January 17, 1927 - January 19, 1931
    January 14, 1935 - January 17, 1939
  • Democratic
  • April 1, 1873
  • March 14, 1942
  • Alabama
  • University of Alabama, University of Texas, Yale University
  • Married Dixie Bibb
  • National Guard


DAVID BIBB GRAVES, a descendant of Alabama Governor William Wyatt Bibb, was born in Hope Hull, Alabama, on April 1, 1873. He attended public schools in Texas, and graduated in 1893, from the University of Alabama with a degree in civil engineering. He studied law at the University of Texas for one year and graduated from Yale University in 1896, earning a law degree. He was admitted to the Alabama Bar in 1897, and started a private law practice in Montgomery. Graves had an extensive military career, serving as adjutant general of Alabama from 1907 to 1911, and serving in the Alabama National Guard. He also was active in World War I, serving in France, as colonel of the 117th Field Artillery, 31st Division. Graves entered politics in 1898, when he was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives, serving until 1901. He chaired the Alabama Democratic Executive Committee, and was unsuccessful in his first bid for governor in 1922. Graves ran again in 1926, and was elected Alabama’s governor on November 2, 1926. During his first term, a gasoline tax was passed, the state docks were finished, the convict lease system was repealed, and a $25 million road bond was enacted. Also, several new schools were created with increased appropriations, the cost of textbooks decreased, the Veteran’s Bureau was established to aid Alabama’s servicemen, and the Highway Department was planned. Prohibited from succeeding himself, Graves left office on January 19, 1931, and returned to his law practice. He was reelected to a second term as governor on November 6, 1934, and was sworn into office on January 14, 1935. During his second administration, the Alabama State Employment Service, the Board of Adjustment, the Department of Labor, and the Rural Electrification Authority were all established.  The World War Memorial Building, and the Highway Department Building were built. Also, a 2 percent sales tax passed, and a Civil Service System was established.  He left office on January 17, 1939, and was intending to run for a third term in 1942 when he passed away. Graves died in Sarasota, Florida, on March 14, 1942, and is buried at the Greenwood Cemetery, Montgomery, Alabama.


Alabama Department of Archives and History

The Political Graveyard

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.

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