|Title:||Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 062 Wyche Fowler|
|Creator||Fowler, William Wyche, 1940-|
|Dates||2008 December 18|
|Extent||1.0 interview 82 minutes|
|Repository||Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies|
|Abstract||William Wyche Fowler was elected to the Atlanta city council in 1975, and eventually became president of the council. Upon Andrew Young’s resignation, Fowler won a special election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1977. He served on the Ways and Means Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee. Fowler was also appointed as a charter member of the Intelligence Committee, and was involved with the Boland Amendment. In 1986, he was elected to the U.S. Senate as a Democrat, defeating incumbent Republican Mack Mattingly. From 1996 to 2001, he served as ambassador to Saudi Arabia under President Bill Clinton. Fowler discusses his early work with Charles Weltner, his time as an Atlanta city councilman, his experience as a legislator in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, and his appointment as ambassador to Saudi Arabia.|
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 062, 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.
William Wyche Fowler was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on October 6, 1940. He attended Davidson College and worked in intelligence for the U.S. Army. He received his law degree from Emory University and in 1965 he became Congressman Charles Weltner’s chief of staff. When Weltner resigned in 1967, Fowler spent a year at the London School of Economics, and then worked as a private attorney for several years. In 1974, he was elected as an Atlanta city councilman, and was eventually elected president of the council. Upon Andrew Young’s resignation, Fowler won a special election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1977. He served on the Ways and Means Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee. Fowler was also appointed as a charter member of the Intelligence Committee, and was involved with the Boland Amendment. In 1986, he was elected to the U.S. Senate as a Democrat, defeating incumbent Republican Mack Mattingly. In 1992, he lost his campaign for reelection to Paul Coverdell. He then taught in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. From 1996 to 2001, he served as ambassador to Saudi Arabia under President Bill Clinton. He has served on numerous boards, including those of the Carter Center, the Schubert Foundation, and the Middle East Institute.
Wyche Fowler discusses his childhood in Atlanta and his early career in the Army.
Fowler discusses serving as Charlie Weltner's Chief of Staff. He recalls when Charles Weltner resigned beacuse he did not support Lester Maddox as a Democratic nominee for governor. Fowler recalls attending the London School of Economics before returning to American to attend Emory Law School with the help of Dean Ben Johnson.
Fowler recalls working as the "Night Mayor" under Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen and subsequently running for alderman. He discusses his campaign's financial backing, his advertising tactics, and the help of his friend Manuel Malouf. Fowler discusses his work regarding the placement of a MARTA station in Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.
Fowler explains how his interest in public policy sparked his drive to run for Congress. He recalls his work on the Ways and Means Committee, the Foreign Affairs Committee, and the Intelligence Committee. Fowler discusses his input to the Boland Amendment, legislation aimed at limiting U.S. assistance to the Congras in Nicaragua.
Fowler recalls his run for Senate, including Tom Murphy's influence on the campaign. Upon being elected, Fowler recalls getting on the Senate Appropriations Committee and defending the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities.
Fowler discusses his appointment to the position of Ambassador to Saudi Arabia by President Bill Clinton. He recalls how his committee experience influenced his impression of Saudi Arabia. Fowler describes his relationship with King Fahd and the established system of government. He weighs in on the war on terror and foreign policy in the Middle East.