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Lee Atwater

Lee AtwaterAKA Harvey Leroy Atwater

Born: 27-Feb-1951
Birthplace: Atlanta, GA
Died: 29-Mar-1991
Location of death: Washington, DC [1]
Cause of death: Cancer - Brain
Remains: Buried, Greenlawn Cemetery, Columbia, SC

Gender: Male
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Politician
Party Affiliation: Republican

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: RNC Chairman, 1988-90

Republican dirty trickster and rhythm guitarist, providing shenanigans to both the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush campaigns. Chair of the Republican Party in the late 1980s, and key advocate of the "Southern strategy," in which the party's message was designed to appeal to racist voters. "You start out in 1954 by saying, Nigger, nigger, nigger. By 1968 you can't say nigger — that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract."

During an advertising campaign against Michael Dukakis, he introduced America to Willie Horton. After diagnosis of a brain tumor in 1991, Atwater found Jesus Christ and renounced his old ways, and died one month later. He said in an interview, "A reputation as a fierce and ugly campaigner has dogged me. While I didn't invent negative politics, I am one of its most ardent practitioners."


[1] George Washington University Hospital, Washington, DC.

Father: Harvey Dillard Atwater (d. May-1991 cancer)
Mother: Toddy Page
Brother: Joe Atwater (b. 18-Nov-1953, d. 1956)
Sister: Anne (b. 19-Aug-1957)
Wife: Sally (m. 1978)
Daughter: Sara Lee
Daughter: Ashley Page
Daughter: Sally Theodosia (b. 16-Apr-1990)
Mistress: Brooke Vosburgh (unproven speculation)

    High School: A. C. Flora High School, Columbia, SC
    University:
Newberry College, Newberry, SC
    University: MA Mass Communications, University of South Carolina (1977)
    Administrator: Trustee, Howard University

    Republican National Committee Chairman (1988-90)
    College Republicans Newberry College
    Reagan-Bush '84
    Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity
    Fainted Washington, DC (Mar-1990)
    Brain Surgery (3-Apr-1990)
    Converted to Catholicism 27-Mar-1991 (baptized, last rites)
    English Ancestry Paternal
    Risk Factors: Smoking, Depression

Is the subject of books:
Bad Boy: The Life and Politics of Lee Atwater, Dec-1996, BY: John Joseph Brady


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