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Howard Hearnes Carwile (November 14, 1911 –
June 6 , 1987) was an American lawyer and politician.
Howard Carwile was born in Charlotte County, Virginia to parents Willis
Early Carwile (May 6, 1873 - May 10, 1950) and Allie Taylor (July
2, 1887 - November 23, 1968). He married Violet Virginia Talley
(January 28, 1918 – October 21, 1994), daughter of John C. Talley
(May 8, 1882 - ?) and Virginia Magnetta Cullingsworth (March
27, 1895 - Feb. 1986).
Howard and Violet had one son, Howard H. Carwile, Jr., and one
grandchild, Taylor Lane Carwile.
Both Howard and Violet died in Richmond, Virginia. He is the
great-great-grandson of Jacob Carwile, a Revolutionary War soldier.
Howard Carwile was known as a fiery, passionate trial attorney
in Richmond, Virginia. He opposed the
Organization in his early years, a machine of Conservative Democrats led by Harry Flood Byrd which dominated Virginia's
politics from the 1920s until the mid 1960s.
Carwile represented many black clients as a trial lawyer in the 1940s
through 1960s in Richmond. He was an ever-vigilant watchdog over
the Richmond Police Department and champion for reform of
Virginia's prisons and a general political gadfly. A collection of
his papers is housed in the Special Collections and Archives
section of the library of Virginia Commonwealth
- Ran as Independent for Governor of Virginia in 1945
against Democrat William M. Tuck
& Independent S. Lloyd Landreth.
- Ran as Independent for Virginia U.S. Senator in 1948
against Democrat Absalom Willis Robertson, Republican Robert H.
Woods, Progressive Virginia
Foster Durr & Socialist Clarke T. Robbe
- Ran as Independent for Governor of Virginia in 1953 against
Democrat Thomas Bahnson Stanley &
Republican Theodore Roosevelt
- Ran as Democrat for Governor of Virginia in 1957 primary
against J. Lindsay
Almond, Jr. labeling himself a "Jacksonian
Democrat". He campaigned for "peaceful compliance with the Supreme Court decision on integration",
"preservation of Virginia's free public school system" and poll tax removal.
- Ran unsuccessfully as Independent for Virginia's 3rd
congressional district of U.S. House in 1980
against Republican Thomas J. Bliley, Jr., Democrat
John Aydelotte Mapp (April 20, 1913 – August 17, 2002) &
Independent James B. Turney
- Known for his colorful rhetoric in public, such as calling a
city-hall boondoggle he disliked a "horrendous heap of hokum" and
his campaign style, including an automobile completely covered in
- Appreciated by Richmonders for his verbal theatrics, and in the
1970s it was not uncommon to hear someone say he or she was
"shocked and appalled," a frequent Carwile exclamation.
Government offices held
Served on Virginia House committees:
- Health, Welfare & Institutions
- Militia and Police
Published and broadcast
- Weekly columnist for the Richmond Afro-American
- Published Speaking from Byrdland a compilation of his
weekly radio programs decrying racial segregation
- Autobiography Carwile, His Life and Times, published
June 1988 ISBN 1556180438
||Clean up City Hall - every
crevice and crack;
Purge the parasite and liquidate the quack.
Carwile in Council will be something new;
He will represent all but the privileged few."
"The Taxpayers Candidate"
—Howard Carwile, From his handbill
as an unsuccessful candidate for Richmond City Council in