George Wallace was elected governor in Alabama in 1962 on his famous segregationist ticket. He couldn't run again in 1966, but ran his wife instead. Lurleen Wallace, the first female governor of the state, died in office. George Wallace ran again, and was elected, in 1970.
Prior to that Wallace rose to national prominence with his line in the dust speech and, later, the notorious stand in the schoolhouse door on the University of Alabama campus.
He ran for president in 1964, showing strong strength in Wisconsin, Maryland and Indiana using an outsider message. He returned to the national stage once again in 1968 as a candidate of the American Independent party, hoping to force the election into the House of Representatives. Wallace was siphoning off Democratic votes in '68, with Gen. Curtis LeMay as a running mate, but Republican Richard Nixon was worried about his impact as well.
It was a fiesty, bitter campaign. He won almost 10 million popular votes and carried five Southern states, but Nixon won the election outright.
Wallace gave it another try in 1972, this time as a Democrat. His public views on segregation were changing, and once again he was an important cog in the early polling, but all that ended when a would-be assassin's bullets tore through his body. After the shooting Wallace won Maryland, Michigan, Tennessee and North Carolina.
In 1975 Wallace announced a final run for the presidency, but it was a short-lived experiment as the media and public were fixated on his health. Wallace returned to the governor's mansion, largely with the help of Alabama's black voters, with whom he'd reconciled. He'd become more moderate, more populist and -- counting his wife's election -- could claim five gubernatorial terms spanning three decades and 17 years in the state's highest office.
Wallace would live until 1998, though he suffered from constant pain brought on by the shooting in Maryland.