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Howard Hearnes Carwile
|Member of the Virginia House of Delegates|
from the 35th district
January 9, 1974 – January 14, 1976
|Preceded by||William Ferguson Reid|
|Succeeded by||Gerald L. Baliles|
|Born||November 14, 1911|
Charlotte, Virginia, U.S.
|Died||June 6, 1987 (aged 75)|
Richmond, Virginia, U.S.
|Alma mater||Alma White College|
Howard Hearnes Carwile (November 14, 1911 – June 6, 1987) was an American lawyer and politician.
Early and family life
Howard Carwile was born in Charlotte County, Virginia, to parents Willis Early Carwile (May 6, 1873 – May 10, 1950) and Allie Taylor (July 2, 1887 – November 23, 1968); they were tenant tobacco farmers. Howard was one of 13 children. His great-great-grandfather Jacob Carwile, served as a soldier in the American Revolutionary War.
In 1948, he married Violet Virginia Talley (January 28, 1918 – October 21, 1994), daughter of John C. Talley (May 8, 1882 – ?) and Virginia Magnetta Cullingsworth (March 27, 1895 – Feb. 1986), and a divorced beautician. Howard and Violet had one son, Howard H. Carwile, Jr., and one grandchild, Taylor Lane Carwile. Both Howard and Violet died in Richmond, Virginia.
- Graduate of Alma White College, Zarephath, New Jersey
- Graduate of Southeastern University Law School, Washington, D.C.
Howard Carwile was known as a fiery, passionate trial attorney in Richmond, Virginia. He opposed the Byrd Organization in his early years, a machine of Conservative Democrats led by Harry Flood Byrd which dominated Virginia's politics from the 1920s until the mid-1960s.
Carwile represented many black clients as a trial lawyer in the 1940s through 1960s in Richmond. He was an ever-vigilant watchdog over the Richmond Police Department and champion for reform of Virginia's prisons and a general political gadfly. He was known for his colorful rhetoric in public, such as calling a city-hall boondoggle he disliked a "horrendous heap of hokum" and his campaign style, including an automobile completely covered in Carwile bumper-stickers. He was appreciated by Richmonders for his verbal theatrics, and in the 1970s it was not uncommon to hear someone say he or she was "shocked and appalled", a frequent Carwile exclamation. His case against Richmond Newspapers concerning an editorial by the Richmond Times-Dispatch reached the Virginia Supreme Court in 1954 and was decided in his favor. A collection of his papers is housed in the Special Collections and Archives section of the library of Virginia Commonwealth University.
- Ran as Independent for Governor of Virginia in 1945 against Democrat William M. Tuck and Republican S. Lloyd Landreth.
- Ran as Independent for Virginia U.S. Senator in 1948 against Democrat Absalom Willis Robertson, Republican Robert H. Woods, Progressive Virginia Foster Durr and Socialist Clarke T. Robbe
- Ran as Independent for Governor of Virginia in 1953 against Democrat Thomas Bahnson Stanley and Republican Theodore Roosevelt Dalton
- Ran as Democrat for Governor of Virginia in 1957 primary against J. Lindsay Almond, Jr. labeling himself a "Jacksonian Democrat". He campaigned for "peaceful compliance with the Supreme Court decision on integration", "preservation of Virginia's free public school system" and poll tax removal.
- Ran unsuccessfully as Independent for Virginia's 3rd congressional district of U.S. House in 1980 against Republican Thomas J. Bliley, Jr., Democrat John Aydelotte Mapp (April 20, 1913 – August 17, 2002) and Independent James B. Turney
Government offices held
- Richmond City Councilman – 1966 – resigned 1973
- Virginia House of Delegates – 35th District, Henrico County, Virginia, 1974-5, defeated for re-election by Gerald L. Baliles 1975
Served on Virginia House committees:
- Health, Welfare & Institutions
- Militia and Police
- Association of Trial Lawyers of America
- Richmond Trial Lawyers Association
- Virginia Trial Lawyers Association
- American Bar Association
- Richmond Criminal Bar
Published and broadcast works
- Weekly columnist for the Richmond Afro-American newspaper
- Published Speaking from Byrdland, a compilation of his weekly radio programs decrying racial segregation
- Autobiography Carwile, His Life and Times, published June 1988 ISBN 1-55618-043-8
Clean up City Hall – every crevice and crack;
Purge the parasite and liquidate the quack.
Carwile in Council will be something new;
He will represent all but the privileged few.
"The Taxpayers Candidate"— Howard Carwile, From his handbill as an unsuccessful candidate for Richmond City Council in 1962
- Virginia Marriage record of June 7, 1948 available on ancestry.com
- Howard H. Carwile v. Richmond Newspapers, Inc, 196 Va. 1 (Supreme Court of Virginia 1954).
- Time Magazine, "Bumpy Road in Richmond", 28 February 1972
- University of Virginia Television News of the Civil Rights Era 1950 – 1970