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Georgia Political Papers and Oral History Program

The Georgia Political Papers and Oral History Program is comprised of over 3,000 linear feet of archival collections, along with an extensive number of oral history interviews, that document the unique political culture of the state of Georgia.

Howard Hollis "Bo" Callaway

Howard Hollis "Bo" Callaway was born in LaGrange, Ga. in 1927. He attended Georgia Tech and graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1949. After a successful business career, he entered politics in 1964, becoming the first Republican elected to the House of Representatives from Georgia since 1875 when he won the seat in the 3rd District. He ran for governor in 1966, winning the most votes though not a clear majority due to a write-in candidate. The race was thrown to the Georgia House of Representatives where Democrat Lester Maddox was elected. Callaway remained influential in state and national politics, running Richard Nixon's 1968 election campaign in the South, serving as Secretary of the Army from 1973-1975, and as campaign chairman for President Ford from 1975-1976. Callaway lived in Colorado for more than a decade where he was a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in 1980 and chaired the Colorado Republican Committee from 1981-1987. Callaway is active today in both politics and business and lives in Pine Mountain, Georgia.; Interviewed by Mel Steely and Ted Fitz-Simons on December 1, 1988 at West Georgia College.; This interview begins with a discussion about Callaway's background and family. He talks about his father and his time in school. He talks about his father's excellent business sense and growing up during the Great Depression. Callaway states that his grandfather put every dime he had into Callaway Mill. Callaway then talks about his time in college and at West Point, and praises their methods of education. Callaway then talks about meeting his wife and his time in Korea during the war. In the next part of the interview, Callaway spends most of the time talking about developments at Callaway Gardens over the years and how they became such a successful place. The interview then shifts to politics, and Callaway says he was basically thrown into the race for Congress. He talks at length about his race against Garland Byrd and his "freshman" experience in Congress. Callaway answers questions regarding fundraising, committees, and his decisions on certain issues during his tenure. He shifts back to discussions on discrimination and the Civil Rights movement, stating that he was simply raised in a segregated society, so he never considered himself "racist." Callaway also answers questions about his personal opinions of certain members of politics. The interview then moves on to talk about how Callaway went about making decisions in Congress, and his relationships with the Speakers. The topic changes to his feelings about Richard Nixon, as he was a strong supporter of his presidential campaign. The last portion of the interview, Callaway discusses the Army and how it is run versus how it could improve.