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Iris Faircloth Blitch
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Georgia's 8th district
January 3, 1955 - January 3, 1963
|William McDonald Wheeler|
|James Russell Tuten|
|Member of the Georgia Senate|
|Member of the Georgia House of Representatives|
|Born||April 25, 1912|
Toombs County, Georgia
|Died||August 19, 1993 (aged 81)|
San Diego, California
|Political party||Democratic (before 1964)|
Republican (after 1964)
Iris Faircloth Blitch (April 25, 1912 - August 19, 1993) was a United States Representative from Georgia. She was the fourth woman to represent Georgia in the Congress, and the first to win a regularly scheduled general election.[a] Blitch was a vocal advocate both for women's rights and racial segregation.
Blitch was born near Vidalia, Georgia and attended the University of Georgia (UGA) in Athens in 1929. She also attended South Georgia College in Douglas in 1949. Blitch worked with her husband in managing their farm as well as cattle, timber, naval stores, fertilizer, and pharmacy businesses in Homerville, Georgia.
In 1946, Blitch was elected to the Georgia Senate; she was subsequently elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1948 but lost her reelection bid to that office in 1950. She won election to the state Senate again in 1952 and remained in that position through December 31, 1954. From 1948 through 1954, Blitch was Georgia's Democratic Party national committee member.
A staunch segregationist, in 1956, Blitch was among the 101 Southern politicians to sign the Southern Manifesto. She won re-election to three additional terms in that seat before choosing not to seek reelection in 1962 due to severe arthritis. In 1964, Mrs. Blitch left the Democratic Party and endorsed Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater.
Within days of her 1954 election, Blitch appeared on the American television show What's My Line.
After her political service, Blitch resided on St. Simons Island, Georgia, until 1988, when she moved to San Diego, California, to be closer to her daughter. She died there on August 19, 1993, and was buried in Pine Forest Cemetery in Homerville, Georgia.