Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 126 T. Rogers WadeReflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 126 T. Rogers Wade

Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 126 T. Rogers Wade

Descriptive Summary

Title: Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 126 T. Rogers Wade
Creator: Wade, T. Rogers.
Dates: 2011 January 28
Extent: 1.0 interview
Collection Number: RBRL/220/ROGP
Repository: Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
Abstract: T. Rogers Wade was chairman of Herman E. Talmadge's 1980 re-election campaign, as well as a former administrative assistant and chief political fundraiser for the senator in Washington, D.C. Upon returning to Georgia, he was named vice president of Watkins Associated Industries, a national company with major holdings in transportation, development, seafood processing, insurance and communications. Wade discusses his work with Herman Talmadge, his life after politics, and his opinion on party politics in Georgia.

Collection Description

Biographical note

T. Rogers Wade was chairman of Herman E. Talmadge's 1980 re-election campaign, as well as a former administrative assistant and chief political fundraiser for the senator in Washington, D.C. Upon returning to Georgia, he was named vice president of Watkins Associated Industries, a national company with major holdings in transportation, development, seafood processing, insurance and communications.

In 1985 Wade opened the Atlanta offices of Edington, Wade and Associates representing over half of the Fortune 100 companies from throughout the United States and Europe. He was a founding member of Leadership Georgia in 1972 and in 2010 he was asked by Governor Nathan Deal to serve as Chairman of his Transition Team. He is currently on the boards of the Georgia Research Alliance, the Georgia Trucking Association, the U.S.O., the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the MILRA and is a trustee of the Richard B. Russell Foundation. \

Prior to retirement, T. Rogers Wade was President and CEO of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation from 1997 through 2009. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Trustees of that organization and senior partner of Capitolink Inc.

Wade has also been active on the boards of the Gordon College Foundation, the P.A.G.E. Foundation, the Fanning Leadership Institute at the University of Georgia, the Advisory Board of the College of Engineering at the University of Georgia and was the recipient of the Public Policy Foundation’s Freedom Award in 2011. He was recently appointed as Executive Director of the Governor’s Defense Initiative.

Wade attended the University of Georgia, where he met his wife of nearly half a century, the former Marcia Bryan, of Tampa Florida. Rogers is a member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta and he and his wife are longtime residents of Sandy Springs.

Scope and Content

T. Rogers Wade discusses his early life in Chattanooga and reflects on his interest in politics.

Wade discusses his relationship with Senator Herman Talmadge and reflects on Talmadge's character. He discusses committees Talmadge chaired. Wade recalls Senator Talmadge's family, including when his son drowned in Lake Lanier and his relationship to his mother, who lived to be 100 years old. Wade recalls Senator Talmadge's involvement with the Watergate Committee. He discusses Talmadge's frustration with the cover-up versus the break-in.

Wade discusses Talmadge's work in rural development including paving roads, picking up children with school buses, and bringing electricity into rural communities. He recalls Talmadge's friendship with Martin Luther King, Sr., and discusses Talmadge's interaction with racism as a political issue. Wade recalls an audit of Talmadge's campaign accounts and discusses the missteps which lead to an inquiry by the Ethics Committee. He recalls the "overcoat" financial scandal involving Betty Talmadge, who had been divorced from Senator Talmadge for several years at that point. Wade discusses Talmadge's struggles with alcoholism and his continued difficulty with the loss of his son.

Wade comments on the 1980 senatorial race between Talmadge and Miller that lead to a run-off. He recalls each candidate's hesitation at being in front of television cameras and the hesitation voters felt about Talmadge's public admission of alcoholism. After Talmadge's defeat, Wade recalls working with the Commodities Trade Commission and the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.

Wade discusses water resource conservation and the state of government and political parties in Georgia.


Administrative Information and Restrictions

Custodial History note

Reflections on Georgia Politics began in the fall of 2006 at Young Harris College, as a lecture and discussion program hosted by Georgia political veteran Bob Short. In late 2007, the Richard B. Russell Library began producing the program as an oral history video series to further illuminate and personalize the tectonic shifts that occurred in Georgia politics in the late twentieth century.

Preferred citation

Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 126, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.

Copyright Information

Resources may be used under the guidelines described by the U.S. Copyright Office in Section 107, Title 17, United States Code (Fair use). Parties interested in production or commercial use of the resources should contact the Russell Library for a fee schedule.

Finding Aid Publication

Finding aid prepared by Russell staff, 2013.


Related Materials

Access Points

Georgia Public Policy Foundation--Issue analysis.
King, Martin Luther, 1899-1984
Miller, Zell Bryan, 1932-
Oral histories.
Political campaigns--Georgia.
Racism--Georgia.
Rural electrification.
Talmadge, Herman E. (Herman Eugene), 1913-2002.
United States. Congress. Senate.
Water resources development--Georgia.
Watergate Affair, 1972-1974.

Related Collections in this Repository

Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection

Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 002 T. Rogers Wade on Herman Talmadge

T. Rogers Wade Collection of Herman E. Talmadge Materials

T. Rogers Wade Collection of Herman E. Talmadge Materials, Series IV. Audiovisual Materials


Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

ROGP 126 T. Rogers Wade video and interview index in OHMS Access Online
ROGP 126 T. Rogers Wade video (Extent: 97.0 minutes ) Access Online