Theodore Bilbo

Theodore Bilbo

Theodore Bilbo was born in Pearl River County, Mississippi on 13th October, 1877. After attending Vanderbilt University and the University of Michigan, Bilbo worked as a teacher in Mississippi. Admitted to the bar in 1908, Bilbo had a law practice in Poplarville, Mississippi.

A member of the Democratic Party, Bilbo served in the State senate (1908-1912), as lieutenant governor (1912-16) before being elected as governor of Mississippi (1916-1920 and 1928-32). At the time he held fairly progressive views and increased taxes on corporations and provided state aid to education.

Bilbo was elected to the United States Senate in 1934. He adopted the policies of Huey Long and told the electors he intended to "raise hell with the money lords, the privileged few, the men who hold 90 per cent of the wealth of the nation."

A strong opponent of African American civil rights Bilbo told the electors of Mississippi in 1940 that: "I want to make it impossible for the Negro to Vote and thus guarantee white supremacy."

Bilbo was chairman of the Committee on District of Columbia and served on the Committee on Pensions. Theodore Bilbo died in New Orleans on 21st August, 1947.