FRANK MURRAY DIXON was born in Oakland, California, on July 25, 1892. He attended Phillips Exeter Preparatory School, Columbia University, and the University of Virginia, where he earned a law degree. Dixon was admitted to the Alabama Bar in 1917, and practiced in the law office of Frank W. White. During World War I, he served with the French Escadrilles as an aerial observer and machine gunner. Dixon was wounded, lost his right leg, was decorated by the French government, and discharged in May 1919 at the rank of major. He served as an assistant solicitor of Jefferson County from 1919 to 1923, and ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1934. On November 8, 1938, Dixon was elected Governor of Alabama, and on January 17, 1939, was sworn into office. During his term, the state debt was reduced, the Pardon and Parole Board was created, and a State Civil Service System was established. Teacher retirement was initiated and several new departments were formed, including personnel, commerce, revenue, finance, conservation, and the state docks and terminals. The office of Price Administration was integrated through state government, the Legislature Reference Service was established, and the legislature’s sessions changed from quadrennial to biennial. Also, the first illuminated intercity highway in the state opened in December 1939. Dixon left the governor’s office on January 19, 1943, and returned to his law practice in Birmingham. He stayed active in politics, leading the Dixiecrat movement from 1948 to 1951, and as a presidential elector to the 1960 Democratic National Convention. Dixon died on October 11, 1965, and is buried at the Oak Hill Cemetery, Birmingham, Alabama.
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.