Former Georgia congressman Bo Callaway dies

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COLUMBUS, Ga. – Howard “Bo” Callaway Sr., a former Georgia congressman, Army secretary and one of the founders of Callaway Gardens, died Saturday. He was 86.

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Howard "Bo" Callaway, bottom right, in a photo from his tenure as chairman of the Federal Base Closing Commission, responsible for scaling back the military following the conclusion of the Cold War, in June of 1991. Callaway died Saturday.  ASSOCIATED PRESS
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Howard "Bo" Callaway, bottom right, in a photo from his tenure as chairman of the Federal Base Closing Commission, responsible for scaling back the military following the conclusion of the Cold War, in June of 1991. Callaway died Saturday.

Callaway died at an assisted-living facility in Columbus from complications from a brain hemorrhage he suffered about two years ago, said Rachel Crumbley, a Callaway Gardens spokeswoman.

His son Edward said in a statement that his family and the gardens family will miss him deeply.

“While he may be gone in body, as a founder of Callaway Gardens with my grandparents, his spirit will live on in his love of and vision for Callaway Gardens,” Callaway’s son said.

Callaway was elected to Congress in 1964, becoming the first Republican congressman from Georgia since Reconstruction. He left Congress to run for governor in 1966. Callaway actually received 3,000 more votes than the Democratic nominee, segregationist Lester Maddox, but because former Gov. Ellis Arnall mounted a write-in campaign, no candidate received the majority needed to win.

State law at the time did not allow for a general election runoff and instead, the Legislature was allowed to choose the next governor, and the Democratic-controlled body backed Maddox.

Although he lost, he inspired a generation of young Republicans, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, was 12 in 1966 and told the newspaper he remembered even then the impact Callaway had.

“I grew up in a family of Republicans and Bo Callaway was what we had been waiting for,” Ralston said. “I was in elementary school and I had my Blue Horse notebook and I had a ‘Go Bo’ sticker. And I remember being very proud.”

In 1973, he was appointed Secretary of the Army. From 1970 until 2003, he was the principal owner and CEO of Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado. In 1980, he unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate in Colorado and he was chairman of the state Republican Party there from 1981 until 1987.

Callaway was born in LaGrange, Ga. He attended the Georgia Institute of Technology before leaving to become a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He graduated in 1949 with a military engineering degree.

During his military career, Callaway served as a lieutenant. He was a platoon leader in Korea and a tactics instructor at Fort Benning. Callaway ended his military service in 1953 to return home and help his father develop and manage Callaway Gardens, a 6,500 acre garden and resort in Pine Mountain.

Callaway was a rabid baseball fan and his boat, the O Be Joyful, was a favorite pastime and one that he relished sharing with his family.

In celebration of Callaway’s life, a memorial organ concert will be held Wednesday at the Ida Cason Callaway Memorial Chapel at Callaway Gardens.

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roebling
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roebling 03/16/14 - 05:56 am
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Thanks, Bo!

For the 100% you gave in everything you did, Mr. C., thank you. From your military service to building your family's unique and elegant resort to your smashing of the old, racist, established Southern Democrat plutocracy, you repeatedly took on the jobs no one else thought could be done. You showed us how the impossible was possible, if the goal was righteous. Now you'll get what was always denied you here, the recognition you so much have earned. Well done, good and faithful servant.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 03/16/14 - 07:28 am
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Breath taking beauty at Callaway

Thank you for your service & most of all for all the beauty in the lands of Callaway Gardens.

You have to love nature to appreciate what he has done for Ga.

KSL
139375
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KSL 03/16/14 - 09:01 am
3
1
What a nice guy! He belonged

What a nice guy! He belonged to my, at the time, future husband's church. Met him in 1965. My husband had a Calloway scholarship to college. Calloway Mills gave about 20 scholarships to children of mill people. 10 came from the Calloway family per se to top people in the county, including all segregated schools.

GiantsAllDay
10231
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GiantsAllDay 03/16/14 - 09:34 am
2
2
I wonder what Georgia would

I wonder what Georgia would be like today if he were elected governor instead of Lester Maddox.

jb1968ga
38
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jb1968ga 03/16/14 - 05:14 pm
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Gov, Maddox was a great man

I had the privilege of working with Lester Maddox when he was lieutenant governor, serving as a public relations and marketing consultant and traveling with him as a personal aide during his campaign for governor in 1974. He was an amazing man.

As governor, Lester Maddox backed significant prison reform, an issue popular with many of the state's black residents. He appointed more blacks to government positions than all previous Georgia governors combined, including the first black officer in the Georgia State Patrol and the first black official to the state Board of Corrections. Though he never finished high school, Maddox greatly increased funding for the University System of Georgia.

Teacher salary increases (in dollars) during his four years as governor were more than for the two previous administrations of Ernest Vandiver and Carl Sanders combined.

The percentage of salary increase for elementary and secondary teachers was a record breaker unmatched for another 17 years.

In higher education, the State Board of Regents received the largest budget increase of the latter half of the 20th century. This was probably the largest percentage increase for higher education of any state during the four fiscal years of the Maddox-approved state budget appropriations.

Dollars gained from new and expanded industry in Georgia during his four years as governor far surpassed the period from 1947 through 1966.

Maddox left the Office of Governor with a favorable poll rating of above 84 percent and won the Office of Lieutenant Governor in a landslide vote of more than 73 percent, which remains the greatest percentage of votes for any governor or lieutenant governor against a Republican opponent in a Georgia general election.

Gov. Maddox integrated farmer's markets throughout the state, and ordered state troopers to address all motorists as Mr. and Mrs.

Maddox was a popular governor with Georgia residents, paradoxically including many African Americans. He instituted such populist ideas as "Little People's Day," when average people could line up to meet with the governor twice a month at the Governor's Mansion on West Paces Ferry Drive in Buckhead.

He was an honest and honorable man, and a great governor and lieutenant governor.

(Information from Georgia Encyclopedia and Wikipedia)

KSL
139375
Points
KSL 03/16/14 - 12:45 pm
2
1
My husband worked under

My husband worked under Maddox the summer after his sophomore year in college JB is absolutely right. While he was Governor, the number of black people hired to work in state government increased immensely. He was govermor when the schools were integrated.

Let me point out once again. Carter's third son did NOT attend public school in Plains for some odd reason.But as soon as he graduated from a private school in Atlanta, Carter was campaigning on the fact that he did not have a child in private school..

KSL
139375
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KSL 03/16/14 - 12:42 pm
2
1
Ponder that, giants. I can

Ponder that, giants.

I can elaborate. I have not just met 5 governors of Georgia plus Bo, I have known them personally.

GiantsAllDay
10231
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GiantsAllDay 03/16/14 - 06:21 pm
0
2
Yep, from what I've read,

Yep, from what I've read, Lester Maddox should be enshrined in the human rights hall of fame.

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