Lewis Donelson III, Titan of Tennessee and Memphis Politics, Dies at 100

Mr. Donelson, who had celebrated his 100th birthday in October, was credited with helping revive the Republican Party in Tennessee starting in the 1950s, ushering in a two-party system as a bulwark against machine politics led by Memphis' E.H. “Boss” Crump.

He was elected in 1967 as a charter member of the Memphis City Council and served as commissioner of finance and chief operating officer under Tennessee governor Lamar Alexander from 1979 to 1981.

It was Mr. Donelson who informed outgoing governor Ray Blanton that Blanton would not be allowed to re-enter the Capitol as Alexander prepared to take the oath of office in 1979. That action is believed to have scuttled Blanton’s plans to grant additional clemencies in an infamous cash-for-clemency scandal that tarnished Blanton's administration.

Read the full article at The Commercial Appeal.