FIELDING L. WRIGHT, the forty-ninth governor of Mississippi was born in Rolling Fork, Mississippi on May 16, 1895. His education was attained at the University of Alabama, where he earned a law degree. He was admitted to the bar in 1916, and then established his legal career in Rolling Fork. During World War I, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served until 1919, when he was honorably discharged. Wright entered politics as a member of the Mississippi State Senate, a position he held from 1928 to 1931. He also was a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1932 to 1940 and served as the lieutenant governor of Mississippi from 1944 to 1946. On November 2, 1946 Governor Thomas L. Bailey died in office, and Wright, who was the lieutenant governor at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. He was elected to a term of his own on November 4, 1947. During his tenure, the University of Mississippi medical center at Jackson was founded; primary election laws were amended; Mississippi Valley State University was established at Itta Bena; the National Guard was called up with the start of the Korean War; race relations within the state began to gradually change for the better; and teachers’ salaries were improved. Also, Governor Wright was an unsuccessful States Rights vice presidential candidate in 1948. He completed his term and left office on January 22, 1952. After being defeated in his 1955 gubernatorial reelection bid, Wright retired from public service. Governor Fielding L. Wright passed away on May 4, 1956 and was buried in his hometown of Rolling Fork.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.