|Title:||Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 029 Norman Underwood|
|Creator||Underwood, Norman Lee, 1941-|
|Dates||2008 May 15|
|Repository||Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies|
|Abstract||Norman Underwood discusses the political careers of Georgia Governors Carl Sanders, Jimmy Carter, and George Busbee, as well as the major campaigns and issues that characterize the political atmosphere of late twentieth century Georgia. Some topics include the end of the county unit system, race relations, education policy, and shifts in party politics. As a student at George Washington University, Underwood worked as an intern for Senator Richard B. Russell, Jr. After earning his law degree in 1966, Underwood was hired by Carl Sanders' law firm, Troutman Sander, LLP, becoming a partner in 1973. He served as George Busbee's campaign manager in the 1974 gubernatorial election, and served as Busbee's executive secretaary when he was governor. He was appointed as a judge to the Georgia Court of Appeals in 1979, and Zell Miller later appointed him to the Judicial Selection Committee. After his years in public office, Underwood returned to Troutman Sanders, LLP as a senior counsel.|
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.
Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 029, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.
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.
Norman Lee Underwood was born in Red Bud, Georgia on July 15, 1941. Active in 4-H, he received the Homelite Chainsaw Company Scholarship, which allowed him to attend George Washington University and intern for Senator Richard B. Russell. He returned to Georgia, and graduated with a degree in forestry in 1964, and a law degree in 1966. Upon graduation, he was hired by Carl Sanders’ new law firm, Troutman Sanders, LLP, becoming a partner in the firm in 1973. He managed George Busbee’s campaign for governor, and Underwood left his law practice to become Busbee’s executive secretary in 1975. He was appointed as a judge to the Georgia Court of Appeals in 1979. He resigned at the end of the year in order to run for U.S. Senate. The attempt was unsuccessful, as was his 1982 run for governor. He remained involved with Senator Zell Miller, who appointed him his chairman of the Judicial Selection Commission. He no longer sought public office, but returned to the law firm Troutman Sanders LLP, where he became a senior counsel. Underwood has served as a trustee of the Richard B. Russell Foundation.
In this interview, Underwood discusses the platforms and legacies of several Georgia governors, including Carl Sanders, Jimmy Carter, and George Busbee. He describes some of the major elections of the era, including the 1970 gubernatorial race between Sanders and Carter, Busbee’s 1974 campaign for governor—managed by Underwood—against Lester Maddox, and the 1980 election for the U.S. Senate, which resulted in Mack Mattingly becoming the first Republican from Georgia to serve in the U.S. Senate since Reconstruction. Underwood also covers the end of the county unit system, education policy, and Richard Russell and Carl Sander’s connections with President Lyndon B. Johnson.