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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.

Pierre Howard

Pierre Howard was born on February 3, 1943 in Decatur, Georgia. He earned a law degree from the University of Georgia in 1968 and returned home to begin practice. In 1972 he was elected as a Democrat to represent the 42nd District in the state senate. Howard served nine terms and was the chairman of the Senate Human Resources Committee for sixteen years. He was elected as Georgia's lieutenant governor in 1990, and served in the position from 1991-2000. Howard put his focus on family issues such as graduated driver's licenses and zero tolerance for teenage drinking and driving. Since leaving government service, he has been affiliated with the University of Georgia's Institute of Ecology and in 2004 was appointed by Gov. Sonny Perdue to an advisory council of the Georgia Land Conservation Partnership.; Interviewed by Mel Steely on September 13, 2000 at the office of Pierre Howard.; Howard briefly discusses his childhood in Decatur, and explains how his talent for tennis landed him a scholarship to the University of Georgia. He talks about his time in Athens, including his decisions to join a fraternity and to follow John F. Kennedy's presidential campaign. He went on to law school at UGA, and says he doesn't recommend it for people who don't "burn with the desire to practice law." As the interview shifts into his political career, Howard talks about his relationships with senators as well as how he dealt with different people while he was lieutenant governor. He discusses his decision to support Nathan Deal in his first election, as well as his concern with public image. He spends the rest of the interview discussing his decisions while in Senate and as lieutenant governor, focusing on bipartisanship and including members from different political parties in his committees.