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Walter Franklin George: A Featured Biography

Senator Walter Franklin George.

Walter Franklin George resigned his position as an associate justice of the Georgia State Supreme Court in 1922 to run in a special Senate election to fill a Senate vacancy. Victorious, George served in the Senate from 1922 to 1957.  During his long tenure, he served as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and the Finance Committee. In 1955, he became the Senate president pro tempore. Although he seldom spoke on the floor, George was nevertheless a highly skilled orator, according to staffer Carl Marcy. Marcy recalled that, "When Walter spoke, senators listened. They came to the floor to hear what he had to say." George even delivered the annual reading of Washington's Farewell Address . A critic of the New Deal, George also opposed U.S. involvement in World War II. His stance changed following the attack on Pearl Harbor. He became a strong internationalist and supported the United Nations, the Marshall Plan, and SEATO. When George retired from the Senate in 1957, President Eisenhower appointed him as ambassador to NATO. Upon his death that year, the U.S. Postal Service honored him with a commemorative 4¢ stamp.