Born into one of the most powerful political families in the history of the American South, Peggy Wallace Kennedy is recognized as one of America’s most important voices for peace and reconciliation. From her unique perspective of living behind the gates of the Alabama Governor’s Mansion as her father, George Wallace, rose to become one of America’s most influential populists, Peggy Wallace Kennedy offers a compelling narrative of her family’s history and its relevance to the current version of the politics of rage. Her husband, Mark, served as a Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court of Alabama
Traveling with her father in 1968 during his presidential campaign, Peggy bore witness to the power of anger and fear at Wallace Rallies in America’s heartland and northeastern factory cities as crowds of disaffected white men and women saw themselves in her father’s eyes. And in May of 1972, she was called from a college classroom and told that her father had been gunned down in the parking lot of a shopping mall in Maryland.
Peggy’s own personal journey to redemption and her call for justice through reconciliation may one day be the most important and lasting public service of the Wallace/Kennedy’s of Alabama. After years of standing in the shadow of others, Peggy Wallace Kennedy challenges us to believe in ourselves so that we too can walk to higher ground. And she demonstrates best the notion that none of us can be held responsible for the circumstances of our birth, but all of us will be held responsible for who we can become.
Mrs. Kennedy has participated on special panels and delivered keynote addresses at national and state conferences, government agencies, corporate and special events as well as colleges, universities and high schools. She has participated in programs at the National Archives, Congressional Forums with Congressman John Lewis and on the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March joined Reverend Bernice King, the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol as a living testament to the power of change and reconciliation.
Media Appearances include CBS with Bill Plante, PBS, NPR with Michelle Norris, Sirius Radio with Joe Madison and Mark Thompson, MSNBC with Lawrence O’Donnell, the Broadcast Network of Japan, Finnish Broadcasting and Al Jazeera, US.
Peggy attended Mississippi State College for Women and Troy University, receiving a degree in Special Education. Mark is a graduate of Auburn University and Cumberland School of Law. Peggy and Mark have been married forty-six years and reside in Montgomery, Alabama. Together they have two sons, Army Major Leigh Chancellor Kennedy and Morgan Burns Kennedy, their wives Stephanie and Hannah and their granddaughter, Maggie Rose.
Judge Kennedy often shares his unique and often humorous insight into the psychology of contemporary southern politics. Peggy and Mark are presently co-authoring a book on their extraordinary journey through the politics of the south and their work for racial healing and justice in the 21st Century America.
In recognition of her mission and work, Mrs. Kennedy has received, among others, the Rosa Parks Legacy Award, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Woman of Courage Award, Emmitt Till Legacy Foundation, Achievement Award, Oakwood University, I am a Man Award, April Fourth Foundation, Human Rights Award, The Brown Foundation and the MLK Commission Award, San Antonio, Texas.