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Ross Robert Barnett

Gov. Ross Robert Barnett

  • January 19, 1960 - January 21, 1964
  • Democratic
  • January 22, 1898
  • November 6, 1987
  • Mississippi
  • Mississippi College, University of Mississippi
  • Married Mary Pearl Crawford; three children


ROSS R. BARNETT, the fifty-second governor of Mississippi, was born in Standing Pine, Leake County, Mississippi on January 22, 1898. His education was attained at Mississippi College, where he graduated in 1922, and at the University of Mississippi, where he earned a law degree in 1926. After establishing his legal career in Jackson, Barnett entered into politics, however he was defeated in both his 1951 and 1955 gubernatorial bids. Barnett next secured the 1959 Democratic gubernatorial nomination and was elected governor by a popular vote in November of that same year. He was sworn into office on January 19, 1960. During his tenure, the states workmen’s compensation law was revised; a right to work law was sanctioned; and the University of Mississippi admitted its first black student in 1962. Barnett completed his term and left office on January 21, 1964. After running unsuccessfully for reelection to the governorship in 1967, Barnett retired from political life. Governor Ross R. Barnett passed away on November 6, 1987 and was buried in the Barnett Cemetery in Standing Pines, Mississippi.


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.

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