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This Day in Georgia History

September 23, 1884

Eugene Talmadge Born

Politician Eugene Talmadge was born in Forsyth, Georgia. Obtaining a law degree from the University of Georgia in 1907, he practiced law for a year in Atlanta before moving to Montgomery County. He married, moved to Telfair County, bought a farm on Sugar Creek, and practiced law while farming for over a decade. After unsuccessful races for the Georgia House and Senate, he ran for the office of Commissioner of Agriculture in 1926 and won. In 1932, he successfully campaigned for governor. Two years later he was reelected. In 1940, Talmadge came back to win the governorship for a third time, but this proved a controversial term resulting in the loss of accreditation for Georgia public colleges and universities. In 1946, he lost the popular vote but won because of the county unit system. However, he died before taking office, leading to the “Three Governors Affair.”