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  Long, Earl Kemp
NameEarl Kemp Long
Winnfield, Louisiana , United States
Born August 26, 1895
DiedSeptember 05, 1960 (65 years)
ContributorThomas Walker
Last ModifedRBH
Jan 03, 2015 10:51pm
InfoEarl Kemp Long (August 26, 1895 – September 5, 1960) was an American politician and three-time Governor of Louisiana.

Earl K. Long was born in Winnfield, Louisiana. He was the younger brother of Huey Long, who preceded him into politics.

Earl Long was elected lieutenant governor in 1936, and first served as governor from 1939 to 1940, rising to that office after Governor Richard Leche resigned. Long failed to win reelection in 1940. Long was elected governor and served from 1948 to 1952 and from 1956 to 1960.

He was a colorful character, often known as "Uncle Earl". Beneath his public persona as a simple, plain-spoken rural Louisianan of little education was an astute political mind of considerable intelligence.

While not attempting to dismantle the segregationist Jim Crow laws of his state, he was notable for a southern white politician of the time for easing the governmental indignitites placed on African-Americans and allowing many of them to vote.

Eccentricity and hospitalization
Long was well known for eccentric behavior, leading some to suspect that he suffered from bipolar disorder. In his last term in office his wife and others attempted to remove him on the grounds of mental instability. He was never formally diagnosed with any mental illness, and a large part of the motivation for this effort may have been political; his wife's involvement may have been related to his affair with stripper Blaze Starr.

Additionally, in his later years he was alleged to have suffered from strokes, resulting in further mental impairment.

While confined in the mental hospital in Mandeville, Louisiana Long kept his political machine running via telephone. His staff discovered that nothing in Louisiana law required him relinquishing power due to commitment to the mental hospital, so Long ordered the head of the state hospital system fired and replaced him with a crony who had Long released.

After his term as governor expired in 1960, Earl Long was elected to the United States House of Representatives, but died before taking office.

The prominent American journalist A.J. Liebling wrote about Long's unusual career in a series of the articles for The New Yorker which were published 1961 as The Earl of Louisiana.

The Earl K. Long Medical Center in Baton Rouge is named in his honor.



Title Purchase Contributor
The Earl of Louisiana  Purchase Craverguy 
Earl K. Long: The Saga of Uncle Earl and Louisiana Politics  Purchase Craverguy 

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Importance? 9.00000 Average

Father Huey Pierce Long, Sr. 1852-1937
Brother George S. Long 1883-1958
Brother Huey Pierce Long 1893-1935
Nephew Russell B. Long 1918-2003

  08/24/1960 LA District 8 - D Runoff Won 53.24% (+6.49%)
  07/23/1960 LA District 8 - D Primary Won 39.42% (+0.00%)
  12/05/1959 LA Lt. Governor - D Primary Lost 19.99% (-8.93%)
  04/17/1956 LA Governor Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  01/17/1956 LA Governor - D Primary Won 51.44% (+28.07%)
  04/20/1948 LA Governor Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  02/24/1948 LA Governor - D Runoff Won 65.88% (+31.77%)
  01/20/1948 LA Governor - D Primary Won 41.51% (+18.62%)
  02/29/1944 LA Lt. Governor - D Runoff Lost 48.84% (-2.33%)
  02/20/1940 LA Governor - D Runoff Lost 48.27% (-3.46%)
  01/16/1940 LA Governor - D Primary Won 40.88% (+12.90%)
  06/29/1939 LA Governor - Appointment Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  01/21/1936 LA Lt. Governor - D Primary Won 67.13% (+34.25%)
LA Governor - D Primary - Dec 05, 1959 D James A. Noe
LA Governor - D Primary - Jan 15, 1952 D Carlos G. Spaht
LA Governor - D Primary - Jan 18, 1944 D Lewis L. Morgan