Jimmie Davis

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James Houston "Jimmie" Davis

In office
May 9, 1944 – May 11, 1948
Preceded by Sam Houston Jones
Succeeded by Earl Long
In office
May 10, 1960 – May 12, 1964
Preceded by Earl Long
Succeeded by John J. McKeithen

Louisiana Public Service Commissioner
In office
January 1, 1943 – 1945
Preceded by John Sparks Patton

Born September 11, 1899
Jackson Parish, Louisiana
Died November 5, 2000 (aged 101)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Resting place Jimmie Davis Tabernacle Cemetery near Jonesboro, Louisiana
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) (1) Alvern Adams Davis (died 1967)

(2) Anna Carter Gordon Davis (married 1969-2000, his death)

Children James William "Jim" Davis (1944-2012)

William and Greg Gordon
Vicki Gordon Owens

Alma mater Louisiana College
Louisiana State University
Occupation Singer, songwriter, former educator, politician
Religion Southern Baptist

James Houston Davis, known as Jimmie Davis (September 11, 1899 – November 5, 2000), was a famous gospel and popular music singer who served two non-consecutive terms as a Democratic governor of his native Louisiana, 1944 to 1948 and 1960 to 1964.

Davis has the distinction of having been succeeded and preceded as governor by his intra-party rival, Earl Kemp Long, brother of Huey Pierce Long, Jr. His famous song, "You Are My Sunshine," became associated with his political career as well. He was often called the "peace and harmony" candidate for his low-key demeanor and as a spokesman for the anti-Long faction. Though he was a segregationist, Davis in the fall of 1960 was the governor when the first racial integration of public schools occurred in Louisiana at two elementary schools in the 9th Ward of New Orleans. In his second race for governor in 1959 and 1960, Davis defeated in a runoff deLesseps Story "Chep" Morrison, Sr., the mayor of New Orleans from 1946 to 1961.

Davis was born in poverty in Quitman near Jonesboro in Jackson Parish in north Louisiana. He is interred beside his first wife, the former Alverna Adams, at the Jimmie Davis Tabernacle Cemetery east of Jonesboro in Jackson Parish. His son, James William "Jim" Davis (1944-2012), was a farmer from Newellton in Tensas Parish in northeastern Louisiana, where the former governor owned considerable property.

One of Davis' nieces, Kitty D. Fannin, is married to former state Representative and state Senator James R. Fannin of District 35.

In May 2021, an historical marker devoted to Davis was placed on the Louisiana College campus, where his legacy remains held in high esteem.[1]i

In his later years, Davis maintained a close friendship with former Louisiana Insurance Commissioner James H. "Jim" Brown, originally from Ferriday in Concordia Parish.[1]


See also