Wallace was ineligible to succeed himself as governor, and his wife, Lurleen, was elected to the post in 1966. In 1968 he won 46 electoral votes as the populist presidential candidate of the newly formed American Independent party. In 1970 and 1974 he was reelected as governor. On May 15, 1972, while campaigning for the Democratic party's presidential nomination in Laurel, Md., he was shot in an assassination attempt that left him partially paralyzed. Beginning in the late 1970s, Wallace sought to apologize for and jettison his racist past. In 1982 he brought together a populist coalition of blacks and whites to win a fourth term as governor. He retired in 1987.
Bibliography: Burke, Jerald P., With Liberty and Justice for All: The Political Philosophy of George C. Wallace (1976); Carlson, Jody, George C. Wallace and the Politics of Powerlessness (1981); Carter, Dan T., The Politics of Rage (1995); Frady, Marshall, Wallace (1996); Lesher, Stephan, George Wallace: American Populist (1994; repr. 1995).