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Bill Alexander
File:William Alexander, Jr.jpg
House Democratic Chief Deputy Whip

In office
January 3, 1981 – January 3, 1987
Leader Tip O'Neill
Preceded by Dan Rostenkowski
Succeeded by David Bonior
Member of the United States House of Representatives
In office
January 3, 1969 – January 3, 1993
Preceded by Ezekiel C. Gathings
Succeeded by Blanche Lincoln
Personal details
Born William Vollie Alexander Jr.
January 16, 1934(1934-01-16) (age 88)
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Debi Drury Alexander (m. 1989)
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1953–1955
Unit J.A.G. Corps

William Vollie Alexander Jr. (born January 16, 1934) is a retired American politician who represented the U.S. state of Arkansas in the United States House of Representatives from 1969 to 1993, rising to the post of Chief Deputy Majority Whip.


Alexander was born in Memphis, Tennessee to Spencer (née Buck) and William V. Alexander Sr. He grew up in Osceola, Arkansas, graduating from Osceola High School in 1951, and became an Eagle Scout the same year. He served in the Judge Advocate General's Corps, United States Army from 1955 to 1957. He attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where he was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity, before earning a B.A. from Southwestern at Memphis University (now Rhodes College) in 1957 and a LL.B from Vanderbilt University Law School in Nashville in 1960. He subsequently clerked for Judge Marion S. Boyd of the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee.[1][2]

Alexander practiced law in Memphis and Osceola, was a commissioner on the Arkansas Waterways Commission, and secretary of the Osceola Port Authority. He was elected as a Democrat from Arkansas's 1st congressional district in 1968, succeeding thirty-year incumbent E. C. "Took" Gathings, who retired, and would subsequently be reelected eleven additional time. In the House, he served in the Democratic leadership as Chief Deputy Majority Whip from 1981 to 1987, and was a member of the House Appropriations Committee, where he was active on issues involving agriculture, energy and foreign trade.[1][2]

In 1992, Alexander was one of numerous members of Congress linked to the House banking scandal, having over drafted 487 checks from the House bank. Shortly before the Democratic primary that year, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette published a story accusing Alexander of misusing campaign funds, although these transactions were later found to be legal. None the less, he was defeated for re-nomination by Blanche Lambert (later to be known as Blanche Lincoln), a former staff assistant to Alexander, who went on to win the general election in November.[1]

Alexander and his wife, Debi Alexander, today live in McLean, Virginia.[1]


External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ezekiel C. Gathings
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
Blanche Lincoln
Party political offices
Preceded by
Dan Rostenkowski
House Democratic Chief Deputy Whip
Succeeded by
David Bonior

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