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Sid McMath

Sid McMath, from the cover of his autobiography Promises Kept (University of Arkansas Press, 2003)
Personal data
Date of birthJune 14, 1912
Place of birthMagnolia, Arkansas
Date of deathOctober 4, 2003(age 91)
Place of deathLittle Rock, Arkansas
Political partyDemocrat
SpouseElaine Braughton McMath, 1937
Anne Phillips McMath, 1944
Betty Dortch Russell McMath, 1996
ProfessionAttorney
34th Governor of Arkansas
In officeJanuary 11, 1949 - January 13, 1953
LieutenantNathan Green Gordon
Succeeded byFrancis Cherry
Preceded byBenjamin Travis Laney

Sid McMath

Sidney McMath during World War II
Personal information
NameSidney S. McMath
NicknameTraveler
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Marine Corps
Years of service1940-1945 (active)
1936-1939 & 1946-1970 (reserve)
RankMajor General
Commands heldVTU 8-14 (1953-1964); 3rd Marine Regiment (1942-1944, Acting)
Battles/warsWorld War II
Vietnam War
AwardsSilver Star
Legion of Merit
Other workGovernor of Arkansas (1949-1953)

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Sidney Sanders McMath (June 14, 1912 - October 4, 2003) was a decorated U.S. Marine, attorney and the 34th Governor of Arkansas (1949 - 1953) who, in defiance of his state's political establishment, championed rapid rural electrification, massive highway and school construction, the building of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, strict bank and utility regulation, repeal of the poll tax, open and honest elections and broad expansion of opportunity for black citizens in the decade following World War II.

McMath remained loyal to President Harry S. Truman during the "Dixiecrat" rebellion of 1948, campaigning throughout the South for Truman's re-election. As a former governor, McMath led the opposition to segregationist Governor Orval Faubus following the 1957 Little Rock school crisis. He later became one of the nation's foremost trial lawyers, representing thousands of injured persons in precedent-setting cases and mentoring several generations of young attorneys.


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