J. Lindsay Almond, Jr.

J. Lindsay Almond was born June 15, 1898 in Charlottesville, Virginia, the son of a locomotive engineer. He was graduated from the University of Virginia and from its School of Law in 1923. He began his law practice in Roanoke and in 1925 became a supporter of Harry F. Byrd for Governor. In 1933 Almond was appointed as a state judge, and in 1945 he won election to the U. S. Congress representing the Sixth District. After just one term in Congress and at Byrd's suggestion, Almond became Attorney General of Virginia. He served two terms as Attorney General before running for the governorship in 1957. Almond tenaciously defended the state's segregation laws and used his considerable oratorical skill to champion the conservative position. In 1959 at the height of the school closing crisis, however, Almond disavowed further massive resistance and turned toward gradual compliance with the federal court orders to desegregate. President John F. Kennedy appointed Almond to the United States Court of Customs in April 1962, but Senator Byrd blocked the hearings to confirm Almond for over a year because of his personal disgust with Almond's "surrender." Almond died April 14, 1986. (Washington Post, April 15, 1986)