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Bill Nichols (politician)

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William Flynt Nichols (October 16, 1918 – December 13, 1988) was a Democratic member of United States House of Representatives from Alabama, having served from 1967 until his death from a heart attack in Washington, D.C. in 1988.

William Flynt Nichols
Congressman William F. Nichols Official Portrait, 1986.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's 3rd district
In office
January 3, 1973 – December 13, 1988
Preceded byElizabeth B. Andrews
Succeeded byGlen Browder
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's 4th district
In office
January 3, 1967 – January 3, 1973
Preceded byGlenn Andrews
Succeeded byTom Bevill
Member of the Alabama State Senate
In office
November 7, 1962 – Novmeber 9, 1966 [1]
Member of the Alabama House of Representatives
In office
November 5, 1958 – November 7, 1962 [2]
Personal details
BornOctober 16, 1918
Monroe County, Mississippi
DiedDecember 13, 1988(1988-12-13) (aged 70)
Washington, D.C.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Maude Carolyn Funderburk
Alma materAuburn University



Nichols was born on October 16, 1918. On January 30, 1942, Nichols married Maude Carolyn Funderburk. He was a Methodist, having served on the Board of Stewards of Sylacauga's First Methodist Church.[3]

Nichols died of a heart attack on December 13, 1988.


Nichols received a bachelor's degree in Agriculture in 1939 from the Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University) and a master's degree in Agronomy from the same institution in 1941.

Military serviceEdit

Nichols enlisted in the United States Army in 1942 and served five years in the European Theatre. He was wounded at the Battle of Hürtgen Forest, losing a leg in a land mine explosion. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart, and retired with the rank of Captain in 1947.[4] Following his retirement, he lived in Sylacauga, Alabama, where he is also buried.

Business careerEdit

After military service, Nichols was employed by the Parker Fertilizer Company, and would later become president of the associated Parker Gin Company.[3]


Service in the Alabama LegislatureEdit

Prior to his congressional service, he served over an eight-year period in both houses of the Alabama Legislature, having been elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 1958 and the Alabama Senate in 1962.

Congressional serviceEdit

A strong supporter of Alabama's George Wallace, Nichols unseated freshman Republican U.S. Representative Arthur Glenn Andrews in the 1966 general election, while Wallace's wife, Lurleen Burns Wallace was handily winning the governorship.

Nichols defeated Andrews again in 1970. He was elected to eleven terms.

In 1986, with retiring Republican U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, Nichols co-authored the Goldwater-Nichols Act, the far-reaching reorganization of the United States Department of Defense command structure. Glenn Andrews initially won the Alabama House seat that Nichols held for nearly a generation while Andrews was running on the 1964 Goldwater-Miller presidential ticket.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Alabama Official and Statistical Register, 1963 (Chapter 4, Page 17)". Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  2. ^ "Alabama Official and Statistical Register, 1959 (Chapter 4, Page 58)". Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Schmidt, Greg. "William Flynt Nichols". Encyclopedia of Alabama.
  4. ^ "Rep. Bill Nichols, 70; Led Pentagon Inquiry". New York Times. December 14, 1988.

External linksEdit