Nov. 29, 2018–Tom McGehee / “John McDuffie, Jr.: A Forgotten Statesman”

Rotary Club of Mobile

Program for November 29, 2018: Tom McGehee: “A Forgotten Statesman: John McDuffie, Jr.”

John McDuffie, Jr. (1883-1950) was a Monroe County native who served as a state legislator, congressman, and ultimately federal judge. Upon his election to congress in 1919 McDuffie was never defeated in a public election despite constant attacks by the owner of the Mobile Register, Frederick Ingate Thompson. He served as Minority Whip from 1929 until 1931 and was an outspoken critic of the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. In 1935 he resigned his congressional seat to accept the federal judgeship in Mobile where he would serve until his untimely death in 1950.
Tom McGehee has served as the Museum Director for Bellingrath Gardens and Home since January of 1994 and has been a member of the Rotary Club of Mobile since 2000. He has researched both Mobile and Monroe County history for three decades and is a great nephew of John McDuffie, Jr. He is married to Monroeville native Ceil Smith McGehee and has one daughter, Megan, who currently resides in Athens, Greece.