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Forrest Carter
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Author
    (September 4, 1925-June 7, 1979)
    Born in Anniston, Alabama
    Birth name was Asa Earl Carter
    Speechwriter for Governor George Wallace
    Wrote the novels 'The Rebel Outlaw: Josey Wales' (1973), 'The Education of Little Tree' (1976) and 'Cry Geronimo' (1978)
    He broke from the segregationist Alabama Citizen's Council because he refused to tone down his anti-Semitic rhetoric.
    He decided that the original KKK was too soft and founded the splinter group 'the Ku Klux Klan of the Confederacy.'
    His group infamously attacked singer Nat 'King' Cole after a concert in Birmingham (1956).
    He and his brother James were jailed for fighting with Birmingham police officers (1957).
    He wrote George Wallace's slogan, 'Segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.'
    After deciding Wallace was too liberal on race issues, he unsuccessfully ran against him for governor (1970).
    In one of his ads, he warned white Alabamans about the prospect of black policemen: 'Soon, you can expect your wife or daughter to be pulled over to the side of the road by one of these Ubangi or Watusi tribesmen wearing the badge of Anglo-Saxon law enforcement and toting a gun... but he'll be as uncivilized as the day his kind were found eating their kin in a jungle.'
    One biographer of Wallace said of Carter, 'It's not an exaggeration to call him something of a psychopath.'
    When he moved to Texas and distanced himself from his past, he chose his new first name in honor of former KKK Grand Wizard General Nathan Bedford Forrest.
    While discussing the sale of the film rights for 'Josey Wales,' he showed up drunk at a producer's house and took a leak on his carpet.
    He allegedly died as a result of getting into a drunken fight with his son and choking to death on his own vomit.
    He presented 'The Education of Little Tree' as a non-fiction memoir about being raised by his Cherokee grandparents after he was orphaned... even though his parents lived until he was an adult and his grandparents weren't Cherokees.
    He falsely claimed to be an official Cherokee 'Storyteller in Council.'
    He served in the US Navy during World War II.
    An Austin bookstore owner said of his personal appearances to promote 'Josey Wales,' 'He was such a great storyteller that people who heard him, people who didn't buy westerns, bought his books.'
    A slightly retitled 'The Outlaw Josey Wales' became a damn good Clint Eastwood film.
    'Little Tree' became a sleeper hit after his death, eventually winning an American Booksellers Book of the Year (ABBY) Award and topping the New York Times best-sellers lists (both non-fiction and, after the truth about the author's background came out, fiction).
    Several critics have argued that 'Little Tree' can still be appreciated for its message of tolerance despite its creator's past.

Credit: C. Fishel


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