James Terry Sanford (August 20, 1917 – April 18, 1998) was a Southern Democratic politician. A native of North Carolina, where he was governor and from which he later served as a U.S. Senator, Sanford was noted for his progressive leadership in the fields of civil rights and education.
He was born in Laurinburg, North Carolina to his parents, Cecil and Elizabeth. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, graduating with his bachelor's degree in 1939. He served as a special agent in the FBI for two years. During World War II he volunteered for the US Army as a paratrooper, attained the rank of first lieutenant, and was discharged in 1946.He was a North Carolina state senator from 1953 to 1961, governor of North Carolina from 1961 to 1965, President of Duke University from 1969 to 1985, and United States Senator from 1986 to 1993. During his tenure as president of Duke University, he mounted two unsuccessful campaigns for the Democratic nomination for the presidency of the United States in 1972 and 1976.
At Duke University, he founded the Institute for Public Policy Studies in 1971. In 1994, a new building was completed and the institute was renamed the Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy in his honor. The Terry Sanford High School in Fayetteville, NC is also named in his honor.
Sanford won the Democratic nomination to succeed Senator John P. East in 1986. East committed suicide in July of that year, and Sanford's Republican opponent, Congressman Jim Broyhill, was appointed to hold the seat through November. Sanford defeated Broyhill by three percentage points in the November election. He took office a day later, as a special election to serve the last two months of East's term had taken place the same day.
Sanford was a moderate Democrat. He chaired the Senate Select Ethics Committee in 1992. He lost his bid for reelection in 1992 against Lauch Faircloth, a former Democrat who turned Republican with substantial backing from the political organization of Sanford's Senate colleague, Jesse Helms.
According to President John F. Kennedy's personal secretary Evelyn Lincoln, Sanford was Kennedy's choice for vice president on the 1964 Democractic ticket. In 1968 she wrote a book, Kennedy and Johnson in which she wrote that President Kennedy had told her that Lyndon B. Johnson would be replaced as Vice President. Lincoln wrote of that November 19, 1963 conversation, just before the assassination of President Kennedy,
"As Mr. Kennedy sat in the rocker in my office, his head resting on its back he placed his left leg across his right knee. He rocked slightly as he talked. In a slow pensive voice he said to me, 'You know if I am re-elected in sixty-four, I am going to spend more and more time toward making government service an honorable career. I would like to tailor the executive and legislative branches of government so that they can keep up with the tremendous strides and progress being made in other fields.' 'I am going to advocate changing some of the outmoded rules and regulations in the Congress, such as the seniority rule. To do this I will need as a running mate in sixty-four a man who believes as I do.' Mrs. Lincoln went on to write "I was fascinated by this conversation and wrote it down verbatim in my diary. Now I asked, 'Who is your choice as a running-mate?' 'He looked straight ahead, and without hesitating he replied, 'at this time I am thinking about Governor Terry Sanford of North Carolina. But it will not be Lyndon."
Luther H. Hodges
|Governor of North Carolina|
Dan K. Moore
James Thomas Broyhill
|Class 3 U.S. Senator from North Carolina|