Flowers, Disgraced Civil Rights Attorney, Dies

Richmond Flowers, a former attorney general in Alabama who gained national attention by prosecuting civil rights cases, has died. Flowers' legal career ended in disgrace after he was convicted of extortion.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.


And we want to note one more death this past week: Richmond Flowers, a former attorney general of Alabama.

Flowers came to national attention when he challenged the segregationist policies of then Governor George Wallace. At a time when it was politically unpopular, Flowers prosecuted Ku Klux Klansmen for crimes against civil rights workers.

Sooner than other Southern politicians, Mr. Flowers realized that the 1965 Voting Rights Act would political landscape of the region. He made an unsuccessful run for governor against Wallace's wife, Lurleen. Later his career as attorney general ended in disgrace when he was convicted in an extortion scream.

Flowers served two years in prison but always claimed that the charges were politically motivated. President Carter pardoned him in 1978.

Richmond Flowers died of Parkinson's disease at his home in Dothan, Alabama. He was 88.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.