RICHARD BREVARD RUSSELL, Georgia’s 54th governor, was born in Winder, Georgia, on November 2, 1897. In 1914, he graduated from the Seventh District Agricultural and Mechanical School, and in 1918, he graduated with a law degree from the University of Georgia. That same year he was admitted to the bar. He established a successful legal practice in Winder, and then served as county attorney for Barrow County. Russell entered politics in 1920 as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives, a position he held until 1931, serving the last four years as speaker. He won the 1930 Democratic gubernatorial nomination and was elected Governor of Georgia. During his tenure, the State Board of Regents of the university system was founded, the inauguration of the governor was switched from June to January, the state was restructured into 10 congressional districts, and the Reorganization Act of 1931 was sanctioned, condensing 102 state offices into 17 agencies. Russell did not seek reelection to the governor’s office, but instead ran and was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1932. He served in the Senate until he passed away on January 21, 1971. He had served seven consecutive terms and was president pro tempore at the time of his death. Governor Richard B. Russell is buried at the Russell Memorial Park in Winder, 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.