William Flynt Nichols

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William Flynt Nichols
Congressman William F. Nichols Official Portrait, 1986.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's 3rd district
In office
January 3, 1973 – December 13, 1988
Preceded by Elizabeth B. Andrews
Succeeded by Glen Browder
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's 4th district
In office
January 3, 1967 – January 3, 1973
Preceded by Glenn Andrews
Succeeded by Tom Bevill
Member of the Alabama State Senate
In office
Member of the Alabama House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born October 16, 1918
Monroe County, Mississippi
Died December 13, 1988(1988-12-13) (aged 70)
Washington, D.C.
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Auburn University

William Flynt "Bill" Nichols (October 16, 1918 – December 13, 1988) was a Democratic member of United States House of Representatives from Alabama, having served from 1967 until his death from a heart attack in Washington, D.C. in 1988.


Nichols received a bachelor's degree in Agriculture in 1939 from the Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University) and a master's degree in Agronomy from the same institution in 1941.

Military service[edit]

Nichols enlisted in the United States Army in 1942 and served five years in the European Theatre. He was wounded at the Battle of Hürtgen Forest, losing a leg in a land mine explosion. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart, and retired with the rank of Captain in 1947.[1] Following his retirement, he lived in Sylacauga, Alabama, where he is also buried.

Business Career[edit]

After military service, Nichols was employed by the Parker Fertilizer Company, and would later become president of the associated Parker Gin Company. [2]. During this time, he

Service in the Alabama Legislature[edit]

Prior to his congressional service, he served over an eight-year period in both houses of the Alabama Legislature, having been elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 1959 and the Alabama Senate in 1963.

Congressional service[edit]

A strong supporter of Alabama's George Wallace, Nichols unseated freshman Republican U.S. Representative Arthur Glenn Andrews in the 1966 general election, while Wallace's wife, Lurleen Burns Wallace was handily winning the governorship.

Nichols defeated Andrews again in 1970. He was elected to eleven terms.

In 1986, with retiring Republican U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, Nichols co-authored the Goldwater-Nichols Act, the far-reaching reorganization of the United States Department of Defense command structure. Glenn Andrews initially won the Alabama House seat that Nichols held for nearly a generation while Andrews was running on the 1964 Goldwater-Miller presidential ticket.

Personal Life[edit]

Nichols married the former Maude Carolyn Funderburk in 1943. He was a Methodist, having served on the Board of Stewards of Sylacauga's First Methodist Church.[2]


Nichols died of a heart attack on December 13, 1988.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Rep. Bill Nichols, 70; Led Pentagon Inquiry". New York Times. December 14, 1988. 
  2. ^ a b Schmidt, Greg. "William Flynt Nichols". Encyclopedia of Alabama. 

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Glenn Andrews
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's 4th congressional district

Succeeded by
Tom Bevill
Preceded by
Elizabeth B. Andrews
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Glen Browder