|Member of the |
U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 7th district
November 8, 1983 - January 3, 1995
|Member of the Georgia House of Representatives from District 19 Post-3|
January 1981 - November 1983
|Born||November 22, 1943|
Hancock County, Georgia
George Washington "Buddy" Darden III (born November 22, 1943) is an American politician and lawyer from Hancock County, Georgia. He served in the state house and then for more than five terms as Congressman from Georgia.
Darden was born in Hancock County, Georgia. He lived in Sparta and attended public schools, graduating from Sparta High School in 1961. He earned his Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) at the University of Georgia (UGA) in Athens in 1965 and his Juris Doctor from the UGA School of Law in 1967. He received many honors and awards while a college student, including being elected as president of the student body.
Upon graduation from law school, Darden started his law career as assistant district attorney in Cobb County, Georgia, serving from 1968 to 1972. He was elected as County District Attorney and served from 1973 to 1977.
In 1980 Darden was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives as a Democrat representing District 19-Post3 (Cobb County). He took office in January 1981, and served until 1983, when he resigned to campaign for an open Congressional seat.
Upon the sudden death of U.S. Representative Larry McDonald, who was killed in the 1983 downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007, Darden won a special election to fill McDonald's seat for the remainder of the Ninety-eighth Congress. He resigned from the Georgia Assembly.
During his tenure in office, Darden sponsored 61 bills, including H.R.2044, legislation that authorize and directs the National Park Service to assist the State of Georgia in relocating a highway affecting the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park in Georgia. Darden shepherded numerous bills, including those benefiting Lockheed Aeronautical Corp., through Congress as part of the Armed Services Committee and co-sponsored others. "You don't have to introduce a tiny little bill with your name on it to make a difference," he said.
Darden has supported socially conservative positions: he opposed federal funding for Medicaid abortions except in cases of rape, incest or threat to the life of the mother. He supported the death penalty. Darden advocated maintaining a strong defense in spite of improved East-West relations. He said any money saved from a "peace dividend" should go to deficit reduction. In 1992, the Americans for Democratic Action gave Darden's 1991 voting record 40 points out of 100; the American Conservative Union gave him 35 points.
Since leaving Congress, Darden has served as a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1996, 2000 and 2004. In 2000, President Clinton announced the recess appointment of Darden to serve as a Member of the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). Darden also served as chairman of the Judicial Nominating Commission in the administration of Georgia Governor Roy Barnes from 1999 to 2003.
In 1992, Darden became a member of the Board of Trustees for LaGrange College in LaGrange, Georgia. In 2002, Darden was named Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and served for five years. He retired as Chair in 2007. In recognition of his service to the college, LaGrange College conferred on him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on May 19, 2007. As is customary, Darden was the commencement speaker at the graduation ceremony during which he was honored.
Since 1995, Darden has been a partner in the Atlanta law firm of Denton's (formerly Long, Aldridge & Norman, then McKenna, Long & Aldridge). In 2018, he left Denton's to join Atlanta law firm Pope McGlamry as senior counsel.
Darden married Lillian Budd (born May 15, 1945) on February 18, 1968. They had two children together: Lillian Christine (born December 17, 1971; now married and known as Christine Darden Brennan) and George Washington IV Darden (born August 7, 1974). Darden currently resides in Marietta, Georgia.