George Bell Timmerman Jr.

"George Timmerman" and "George Bell Timmerman" redirect here. For his father the U.S. federal judge, see George Bell Timmerman Sr.
George Bell Timmerman Jr.
105th Governor of South Carolina
In office
January 18, 1955  January 20, 1959
Lieutenant Ernest Hollings
Preceded by James F. Byrnes
Succeeded by Ernest Hollings
76th Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina
In office
January 21, 1947 January 18, 1955
Governor Strom Thurmond
James F. Byrnes
Preceded by Ransome Judson Williams
Succeeded by Ernest Hollings
Personal details
Born George Bell Timmerman Jr.
(1912-08-11)August 11, 1912
Anderson County, South Carolina
Died November 29, 1994(1994-11-29) (aged 82)
Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Helen Dupre,
Ingrid Zimmer
Education The Citadel
University of South Carolina, Columbia
Military service
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1942–1945
Battles/wars World War II

George Bell Timmerman Jr. (August 11, 1912  November 29, 1994) was the 105th Governor of South Carolina, from 1955 to 1959.[1]


Born in Anderson County, he was raised in Charleston and graduated from the Citadel. After receiving a law degree from the University of South Carolina, he practiced law with his father in Batesburg. Timmerman enlisted in the US Navy as an officer with the entry of the United States in World War II after the attack on Pearl Harbor.[1]

Returning to South Carolina after the war, Timmerman ran as a Democrat for Lieutenant Governor in 1946 on the same ticket as fellow veteran Strom Thurmond. He was elected for a term beginning in 1947 and re-elected in 1950 for another four-year term. While Governor he opposed the Supreme Court's ruling in 1954 declaring segregated public schools unconstitutional. Mr. Timmerman fought the changes brought by the decision to defend "the integrity of the races" and "our customs and institutions." He urged Congress to limit the authority of the United States Supreme Court. He regarded Northern insistence on racial integration as hypocritical.[1]

In the gubernatorial election of 1954, he faced nominal opposition in the Democratic primary and ran unopposed in the general election becoming the 105th Governor of South Carolina in 1955. He sought to thwart an order by the Interstate Commerce Commission for desegregation of long-distance travel in 1955, especially because it affected public waiting rooms. At the same time he opposed Federal court orders integrating public parks, bathing beaches and golf courses. For the desegregation of public schools, he vowed with other Southern Governors to thwart it with Congressional or state legislation.

In 1956 he was the favorite son presidential candidate of South Carolina at the Democratic National Convention. During the convention he was a leader of Southern opposition to what he called "radical civil rights legislation and radical planks in the platform." He signed a law in 1956 to bar members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People from public employment in South Carolina. He opposed civil rights laws enacted by the Eisenhower Administration.

After leaving the Governorship in 1959, Timmerman was appointed as a judge to the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in 1967 and served until 1984.[1]

He died on November 29, 1994 in Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina.[1]


Political offices
Preceded by
Ransome Judson Williams
Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina
Succeeded by
Ernest Hollings
Preceded by
James F. Byrnes
Governor of South Carolina
Succeeded by
Ernest Hollings

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