List of Governors of Alabama

List of Governors of Alabama

The Governor of Alabama is the head of the executive branch of Alabama's government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. The governor has a duty to enforce state laws, and the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Alabama Legislature, to convene the legislature, and to grant pardons, except in cases of impeachment. [AL Const. art. V]

The first constitution of 1819 created the office of governor, to serve a term of two years and no more than four out of every six years. [1819 Const. art. IV, § 4] This remained in place until the constitution of 1868, which simply allowed governors to serve terms of two years. [1868 Const. art. V, § 2] The current constitution of 1901 increased this to four years, [AL Const. art. V, § 114] but forbid governors from succeeding themselves.AL Const. art. V, § 116] Amendment 282 to the constitution, passed in 1968, allowed governors to succeed themselves once. [AL Const. amendment 282] The constitution had no set date for the commencement of the governor's term until 1901, when it was set at the first Monday after the second Tuesday in the January following an election.

The office of lieutenant governor was created in 1868,1868 Const. art. V, § 1] abolished in the 1875 constitution,1875 Const. art. V, § 1] and recreated in 1901.AL Const. art. V, § 112] According to the current constitution, should the governor be out of the state for more than 20 days, the lieutenant governor becomes acting governor, and if the office of governor becomes vacant the lieutenant governor fully becomes governor. [AL Const. art. V, § 127] Earlier constitutions said the powers of the governor devolved upon the successor, rather than them necessarily becoming governor, [1819 Const. art. IV, § 18; 1861 Const. art. IV, § 18; 1865 Const. art V, § 19; 1868 Const. art. V, § 15; 1875 Const. art. V § 15] but the official listing includes these as full governors.cite web | url= | title=Alabama Governors | publisher=Alabama Department of Archives & History | accessdate=2008-07-03] The governor and lieutenant governor are not elected on the same ticket.

There have officially been 52 governors of the state of Alabama; this official numbering skips acting and military governors. In addition, the first governor, William Wyatt Bibb, also served as the only governor of Alabama Territory. Five people have served as acting governor, bringing the total number of people serving as governor to 57, spread over 62 distinct terms. Four governors have served multiple non-consecutive terms: Bibb Graves, James E. Folsom, Sr., and Forrest H. "Fob" James each served two terms, and George Wallace served three. Officially, these non-consecutive terms are numbered only with the number of their first term. William D. Jelks also served non-consecutive terms, but his first term was in an acting capacity. The longest-serving governor was George Wallace, who served twelve years over three terms. The shortest term for a non-acting governor was that of Hugh McVay, who served four and a half months after replacing the resigning Clement C. Clay. Lurleen Wallace, wife of George Wallace, was the first and so far only woman to serve as governor of Alabama, and only the third woman to serve as governor of any state. The current governor is Bob Riley, who took office on January 20, 2003; his term will expire in January 2011.


George Wallace, 45th Governor of Alabama]
The land that became Alabama was mostly obtained by the United States in the American Revolution. The bulk was initially part of the state of Georgia, while the southern bit was part of the Spanish colony of West Florida. That portion was controlled in 1810 by the self-proclaimed Republic of West Florida, which had only one president, Fulwar Skipwith. Georgia sold its land to the federal government following the Yazoo land scandal, and Mississippi Territory was formed from that area in 1798, with part of the newly-annexed West Florida added to the territory in 1810. Alabama Territory was split from Mississippi Territory in 1817, and achieved statehood in 1819. See the lists of governors of Mississippi Territory (1798–1817), of Georgia (—1804), and colonial governors of Spanish Florida (—1810) for these periods.

Governor of Alabama Territory

Alabama Territory was formed on March 3, 1817 from Mississippi Territory. It had only one governor before it became a state; he later became the first state governor.

Living former governors

As of|2008|10, seven former governors were alive, the oldest being John Patterson (born birth date and age|mf=yes|1921|9|27). The most recent death of a former governor was that of George Wallace (1971–1979, 1983–1987), on September 13, 1998.





External links

* [ Office of the Governor of Alabama]

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