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Our History: Featured Alumni/ae: Rawlings, George C., 1947

Over the decades our graduates have developed distinguished careers as justices, members of Congress, ambassadors, educators, business people, and community leaders in many fields. This site features some of those late graduates.

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George Chancellor Rawlings, Jr.

Member, Virginia House of Delegates

Born November 7, 1921, George Rawlings, Jr. was raised in Ashland, Virginia. He graduated from Randolph-Macon College with a Bachelor of Arts degree, and received a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1947. He then moved back to Fredericksburg and opened his own law firm. In 1963, he was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, where he served until 1969. While a Delegate, he quickly gained a reputation as one of the leading liberals in the state and a major supporter of civil and political rights for African-Americans and the rights of organized labor.

In 1966, Rawlings won the Democratic primary for Congress over longtime incumbent Howard W. Smith but lost in the general election to Republican William Scott. In 1970, he won the democratic primary in a bid for the U.S. Senate before losing to Senator Harry F. Byrd, Jr. Following the election, Rawlings returned to his law practice, but did not leave politics entirely. In 1972, he joined his friend and ally Henry Howell, who had been elected as Lieutenant Governor as an Independent in a 1971 special election, to attempt to purge the dominant “Byrd machine” from Virginia politics. As a result, Rawlings was elected as a member of the Democratic National Committee, a post he held until 1980, and as chairman of the Eighth District Democratic Committee, which he remained until 1993. Rawlings continued to practice law in Fairfax County until 2000. He died of natural causes on April 22, 2009 at Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg.

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