The Full Wiki

Kirk Fordice: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kirk Fordice

In office
January 14, 1992 – January 11, 2000
Lieutenant Eddie Briggs (1992-1996)

Ronnie Musgrove (1996-2000)

Preceded by Ray Mabus
Succeeded by Ronnie Musgrove

Born February 10, 1934(1934-02-10)
Memphis, Tennessee
Died September 7, 2004 (aged 70)
Jackson, Mississippi
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Pat Fordice (1955-1999) (divorced)
Ann G. Creson (2000-2003) (divorced)
Profession Soldier, Businessman
Religion Methodist

Daniel Kirkwood "Kirk" Fordice, Jr. (February 10, 1934 – September 7, 2004) was a politician from the U.S. state of Mississippi. He was the Governor of Mississippi from 1992 until 2000.

Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Fordice studied engineering at Purdue University, becoming a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity and earning a BS and MS in 1956 and 1957, respectively. After graduation he served with the United States Army as an engineer officer in the 1st Infantry Division for two years. He remained in the Army Reserve until 1977, retiring with the rank of colonel.

Fordice settled in Vicksburg and began a career in heavy construction, eventually founding his own construction company and becoming a millionaire. He won the governorship of Mississippi in the 1991 election, first winning the Republican primary against former state auditor Pete Johnson and in the general election against Democratic incumbent Ray Mabus, making him the first Republican to be elected governor since Reconstruction era governor Adelbert Ames, who served from 1874 to 1876. Fordice successfully won re-election in 1995 against Democratic Mississippi secretary of state Dick Molpus.

An outspoken conservative, Fordice advocated tax cuts, the abolishment of affirmative action, reductions in the welfare system, expanded capital punishment, tougher prison conditions and the building of more prisons.

However, Fordice often became an issue himself, and was one of the bluntest of modern American politicians. He was constantly dogged by the state's Democrat-controlled legislature, who looked for anything to take away from the popularity that Fordice enjoyed. These attempted included trying to distract from progressive legislation Fordice wanted passed by dealing with legislation designed to make themselves look good while derailing the governor's timeline, the legislation they took up concerned apologizing for Mississippi's racist past, to which Fordice responded "The 1960's are over. This is 1996 and we want to be judged by our deeds here and now and not by what happened then and there. We will acknowledge our history, but we will not let it determine our future. The only race that we're concerned with is the race for more jobs, for better schools, for safer neighborhoods and the race for lower taxes." Even though he had a series of rocky personal events that detractors used to take away from him, at then end of his tenure as governor Mississippi's unemployment rate was 3.8 percent, the lowest jobless figure in the state in 26 years.

Fordice also alarmed Jewish groups such as B'nai B'rith by referring to America as "a Christian Nation" during a Republican governors conference. South Carolina governor Carroll Campbell quickly offered a correction, adding "Judeo-" as a prefix to Christian, but Fordice snapped back he meant what he said. Fordice later apologized for any offense.

Fordice also refused to discuss any increase in public school pay raise across the state, even though Mississippi ranked 49th in the nation. When teachers discussed striking he ordered any teacher that went on strike to be immediately fired.

In August 1996, Fordice signed an executive order banning recognition of same-sex marriages in Mississippi.[1] Lawmakers said then that they would back up the executive order with a law. In 2004, Mississippi voters passed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as only between a man and a woman and further banning recognition of same-sex marriages from other states and countries.[2]

Fordice said he would have quit his position of Governor while still in office, except that he didn't want to give the Democratic candidate, Lieutenant Governor Ronnie Musgrove, any spot-light time of running the state before the actual election.[3] Musgrove won the election anyway and became Mississippi's next Governor.

Fordice's tenure was also roiled by an extramarital affair with his high school sweetheart Ann G. Creson, which led to his divorce from his wife of 44 years, Pat Fordice. After leaving office, he married Ann, but they also divorced later.

After retiring, Fordice settled in Madison, Mississippi. He died of leukemia in Jackson at the age of 70 with his ex-wife Pat by his side. He is buried at Parkway Memorial Cemetery in Ridgeland, Mississippi.


  1. ^ Sun Herald via State lawmakers opposed to gay marriages
  2. ^ USA Today: Amendment banning gay marriage passes
  3. ^ The New York Times: POLITICAL BRIEFING; Now, a New Episode Of the Fordice Saga

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Ray Mabus
Governor of Mississippi
Succeeded by
Ronnie Musgrove


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address