Clifford DAVIS Edit Profile
There he completed the high school curriculum of the public schools, and in 1917 he completed law school at the University of Mississippi.
In 1918 he was admitted to the Tennessee bar. In 1923, Davis became a city judge in Memphis, serving in this post until 1927. From 1928 until 1940, Davis served as vice mayor and Commissioner of Public Safety.
The result was relatively unquestioned violence against black residents of Memphis. In 1940, the seat for the 10th ional District, which included Memphis, came open after three-term incumbent Clift Chandler was elected mayor of Memphis. Crump arranged for his colleague Davis to receive the Democratic nomination for the post.
In those days, the Democratic nomination was tantamount to election in most of Tennessee (except for heavily Republican East Tennessee). Davis was elected to a full term in November of that year and was reelected eleven times. His district was renumbered as the 9th District after Tennessee lost a district in the 1950 Census.
Crump died in 1954, but many of his supporters remained in office for years afterwards. In fact, Davis was re-elected five times after Crump's death. During this time, Davis served as chairman of the House Special Committee on Campaign Expenditures, a group which was charged with attempting to find a legal way to control the influence of money on politics and looked into the beginning of what became, many years later, became the system of campaign finance reform that started to be implemented after the Watergate scandal.
Davis was one of five Representatives shot on March 1, 1954, in the U.S. Capitol shooting incident when four Puerto Rican nationalists opened fire from the visitors' balcony into the chamber of the United States House of Representatives. Davis was shot in the leg, but was not seriously wounded. The Memphis area became much friendlier to Republicans in the 1960s, in part due to a massive crossover of white voters from the Democrats.
As evidence of this growing influence, Davis barely held onto his seat in 1962, defeating his Republican challenger, former city councilman Ed Davis, by only 1,200 votes. This was particularly shocking considering that he had been unopposed for reelection two years earlier. In 1964, Davis lost the August Democratic primary to Shelby County legislator George W. Grider, a retired naval officer and fellow attorney.
Unlike Davis, Grider had no past ties to the Crump machine. Davis did not return to Memphis full-time, but maintained a residence in Washington, D.C. where he resumed the practice of law until his death. He is buried at Forest Hill Cemetery in Memphis.
The Clifford Davis Federal Building in Memphis was named after him. As of May 2, 2007, the "Clifford Davis Federal Building" is designated the "Clifford Davis and Odell Horton Federal Building.".
Religious freedom should be supported and the expressions of faith of others should be respected.
Member: Shrine; Knights Templar. Elks; Moose; Knights of Pythias.: Scottish Rite Junior. Order of United American Mechanics.
Bar Association of Tennessee.
Married Carolyn Leigh, June 7, 1922. Children: Clifford, Barbara Leigh, Ray.