Jere Beasley

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Jere Beasley
Jere Beasley.JPG
Governor of Alabama
In office
June 5, 1972 – July 7, 1972
while George Wallace was Governor
22nd Lieutenant Governor of Alabama
In office
January 18, 1971 – January 15, 1979
GovernorGeorge Wallace
Preceded byAlbert Brewer
Succeeded byGeorge McMillan
Personal details
Jere Locke Beasley

(1935-12-12) December 12, 1935 (age 83)
Tyler, Texas, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Sara Baker

Jere Locke Beasley (born December 12, 1935) is an American trial attorney and politician; he served as acting governor of the US state of Alabama from June 5 to July 7, 1972. His law firm has been noted nationally for winning major awards for its clients; among them was an $11.8 billion punitive damage award against Exxon Mobil Corporation in 2003.[1]

Early life, education and marriage[edit]

Beasley was born in 1935 in Tyler, Texas, the son of Browder Locke and Florence (née Camp) Beasley. He was raised in Clayton, Alabama, where his father ran a small grocery store.[1]

Beasley received his B.S. degree from Auburn University and in 1958 married Sara Baker. He earned a J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1962. He worked for various law firms until he opened his own practice in 1965.

Political career[edit]

Beasley joined the Democratic Party, as Alabama was essentially a one-party state after 1901, when it adopted a new constitution.

In 1970 Beasley won the first round of the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor but he failed to win a majority. He won the runoff.

He was serving as 22nd Lieutenant Governor when Governor George Corley Wallace was shot and severely injured in an assassination attempt in Laurel, Maryland, on May 15, 1972. Since Wallace was out-of-state for more than 20 days, recovering in a Maryland hospital, the Alabama Constitution required that the lieutenant governor take over temporarily as acting governor.

In 1974 Beasley faced a strong challenge from Charles Woods, who finished first in the primary. Beasley, like in 1970, won the runoff. He sought the nomination for governor in 1978, but finished a distant fifth.

Beasley is the senior member of the law firm Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C. He is noted as a trial lawyer, and his firm has a national reputation for winning major awards for its clients. Among its big cases was representing the state of Alabama and winning an $11.8 billion punitive damage award against Exxon Mobil Corporation in 2003. On appeal, the company appealed and gained a reduction in the award to $3.6 billion.[1]

In 2009, Beasley served as the campaign chairperson for Alabama gubernatorial candidate, Artur Davis, then a Democrat.

Electoral history[edit]

Democratic primary for Lieutenant Governor, 1970

Democratic runoff for Lieutenant Governor

  • Jere Beasley – 572,258 (57.78%)
  • Hugh Morrow – 418,228 (42.23%)

Race for Lieutenant Governor, 1970

  • Jere Beasley (D) – 589,618 (72.26%)
  • Robert French (R) – 126,506 (15.50%)
  • Isaiah Hayes (Alabama National Democrat) – 92,176 (11.30%)
  • John G. Crommelin (Independent) – 7,678 (0.94%)

Democratic primary for Lieutenant Governor, 1974

Democratic runoff for Lieutenant Governor

  • Jere Beasley (inc.) – 393,077 (56.10%)
  • Charles Woods – 307,643 (43.90%)

Race for Lieutenant Governor, 1974

  • Jere Beasley (D) (inc.) – 433,495 (72.06%)
  • Don Collins (R) – 153,814 (25.57%)
  • Edna L. Bowling (Prohibition) – 9,857 (1.64%)
  • John Watts (Independent, write-in) – 4,387 (0.73%)

Democratic primary for Governor, 1978

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Margaret E. Armbrester, "Jere Beasley, Sr.", Encyclopedia of Alabama
Political offices
Preceded by
Albert Brewer
Lieutenant Governor of Alabama
Acting Governor 1972
Succeeded by
George McMillan
Party political offices
Preceded by
Albert Brewer
Democratic Party nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Alabama
1970 (won), 1974 (won)
Succeeded by
George McMillan