Carl Elliott, the son of a tenant farmer, worked his way through the University of Alabama, graduating in 1933 and from the University's Law School in 1936.
He represented the old Seventh District in the U.S. Congress from 1949 to 1965. He served on the House Veterans Committee, the Education and Labor Committee, and the Rules Committee. He chaired the Select Committee for Government Research. In 1956, Elliott authored the Library Services Act, which brought bookmobiles and library service to millions of rural Americans.
In 1958, he co-authored the National Defense Education Act, which improved science, foreign language and technology education nationwide and provided low-interest loans for college and graduate school for needy students.
Both laws have been extended; more than 30,000,000 loans have been made for students nationwide.
Elliott campaigned for Alabama governor in 1966 on a platform of federal assistance to the needy, better education, and racial tolerance.
He lost the election to Lurleen Wallace and slipped into political obscurity, practicing law, writing books about local history, producing columns and book reviews for area newspapers, and publishing books by local authors.
His books include five volumes of Annals of Northwest Alabama, a history of Red Bay, and seven volumes of histories of coal miners.
Elliott received new recognition of his achievements in 1990, when he became the first recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award .
His autobiography, The Cost of Courage: The Journey of An American Congressman , published in 1992, was recently reprinted by the University of Alabama Press.
CARL ELLIOTT BOOKS
PO Box 3522 Jasper, AL