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James Lindsay Almond

Gov. James Lindsay Almond

  • January 1, 1958 - January 1, 1962
  • Democratic
  • June 15, 1898
  • April 15, 1986
  • Virginia
  • University of Virginia
  • Married Josephine Katherine Minter
  • Representative


JAMES LINDSAY ALMOND was born in Charlottesville, Virginia. While at the University of Virginia, he served as a private in the Student Army Training Corps in 1917 and 1918. He also taught school in Locust Grove, Virginia and served as principal of Zoar High School. He received an LL.B from the University of Virginia in 1923, and served as Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney of Virginia from 1930 to 1933 and Judge of the Hustings Court of Roanoke City, Virginia, from 1933 to 1945. He went on to win a special election to the U.S. House of Representatives, and was reelected, serving from January, 1946 to April 1948, when he resigned after being elected Attorney General of Virginia-also to fill a vacancy. In August, 1957, he resigned as Attorney General to wage a successful campaign for governor.School desegregation was a major issue during Almond’s gubernatorial term, and Almond supported the philosophy of massive resistance, complying with state legislation in ordering the shutdown of schools that had been targeted for integration in 1958.  However, his resolve weakened after both the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Court in Norfolk struck down the school closing law as unconstitutional in 1959, and he retreated to a program of limited desegregation. Also during Almond’s administration, legislation was enacted increasing workers’ compensation and unemployment benefits, and teachers were granted increases in pay and retirement income. After leaving office, Almond served as an Interim Judge of the U.S. Court of Customs and Patent Appeals from 1962 to 1963 and as an Associate Judge of that same court from 1963 until 1973, when he retired to private life.


Kneebone, John T. et al, eds. Dictionary of Virginia Biography, Vol. 1. Richmond: The Library of Virginia, 1998.

Library of Virginia, Virginia Governor, Executive Papers (1958-1962: Almond).  Accession 26230. Biographical/Historical Note. State Government Records Collection, Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA  23219.

The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. I. New York: James T. White & Company.

Salmon, Emily and Edward D. C. Campbell, Jr.  Hornbook of Virginia History. 4th ed. Richmond: Library of Virginia, 1994.

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols

Younger, Edward and Moore, James Tice, eds. The Governors of Virginia, 1860-1978. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1982.

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