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Fob James

From Academic Kids

Forrest Hood "Fob" James, Jr. (born September 15, 1934 in Lanett, Alabama) is an American Republican politician. He served two terms as the governor of Alabama, from 1979 to 1983 as a Democrat, and again from 1995 to 1999 as a Republican.

James was a four-year letterman (1952-1955) and All-American halfback for the Auburn University football team. He was roommates with former University of Georgia football head coach and athletic director Vince Dooley and received a civil engineering degree in 1957. Prior to entering politics, he played professional football in Canada as a member of the Montreal Alouettes during the 1956 season and worked as a civil engineer until 1963, when he founded Diversified Products Inc., a manufacturer of fitness equipment, most notably the plastic-disc barbells filled with "Orbatron," which DP invented. He served as CEO of DP until it was bought by The Liggett Group in 1977.

During his 1978 campaign for Governor, James campaigned as a "born-again Democrat". James had left the Democratic Party in the early 1970s and campaigned for Richard Nixon but he had returned to the party before the election. His main opponent Bill Baxley questioned James party loyalty during the campaign.

During his first term as Governor, James caused controversy by passing a law allowing for teachers to lead willing students in prayer. The law was declared unconstitutional in May 1983.

James declared that he would not run for a second term in 1982. James ran for Governor again 1986 and 1990, finishing third in the Democratic party primary both times.

James ran for Governor again in 1994 as a Republican, defeating Governor Jim Folsom, Jr.. James only served for one term until losing re-election to Don Siegelman in 1998.

Template:US-politician-stub

Preceded by: (first term)
George Wallace
Governor of Alabama
1979–1983, 1995–1999
Succeeded by: (first term)
George Wallace
Preceded by: (second term)
Jim Folsom, Jr.
Succeeded by: (second term)
Don Siegelman
pl:Fob James
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