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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.

Ben Lewis Jones

Ben Lewis Jones was born on Aug. 30, 1941, in Tarboro, North Carolina. After college, he became an actor, starring in The Dukes of Hazzard. Jones entered politics in the 1980's and was elected as a Democrat to represent Georgia's 4th District in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1988. He served two terms before being defeated in 1992. In 1994, Jones ran against Rep. Newt Gingrich, but lost again. Jones returned to acting and writing. In 2002, having moved to Virginia, he ran unsuccessfully against State Rep. Eric Cantor.; Interviewed by Mel Steely on December 11, 1989 at Jones' home.; The interview begins with a brief discussion of Jones' family and childhood. Most significantly, he speaks about being raised in a town that supported white supremacy and how he learned to see people beyond the color of their skin and how gratifying it was to see Atlanta grow towards a more united city after Civil Rights. After that, Dr. Steely asks Jones about how he got into acting and eventually earned his role on the Dukes of Hazzard.