Ezekiel C. Gathings

American politician

Ezekiel Candler Gathings

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas\'s 1st district

In office
January 3, 1939 – January 3, 1969

Preceded by

William J. Driver

Succeeded by

Bill Alexander

Member of the Arkansas Senate
from the Thirty-second district

In office
January 14, 1935 – January 9, 1939

Preceded by

Marvin B. Norfleet

Succeeded by

J. O. E. Beck, Jr.

Personal details Born

(1903-11-10)November 10, 1903
Prairie, Mississippi


May 2, 1979(1979-05-02) (aged 75)
West Memphis, Arkansas

Political party


Alma mater

University of Alabama (did not graduate)
University of Arkansas School of Law

Ezekiel Candler \"Took\" Gathings (November 10, 1903 – May 2, 1979) was a U.S. Representative from Arkansas, representing Arkansas\' First Congressional District from 1939 to 1969. A segregationist conservative, Gathings was an ally of Strom Thurmond, and stood against all civil rights legislation. Gathings also chaired the 1952 House Select Committee on Current Pornographic Materials, which advocated for censorship of obscene magazines, books, and comics.

Early life and education

Born in Prairie, Mississippi, Gathings\' family moved to Earle, Arkansas when Gathings was school-aged.

His nickname derived from Gathings\' younger brother\'s mispronunciation of his childhood nickname, \"Sugar\" (\"Tooker\", shortened to \"Took\").

Gathings graduated from high school in Earle, and briefly attended University of Alabama, before transferring to the University of Arkansas School of Law, where he graduated in 1929. He was admitted to the bar the same year and commenced practice in Helena, Arkansas, moving his practice to West Memphis, in 1932.

Political career

Gathings served in the Arkansas Senate from 1935–1939, representing Crittenden and St. Francis Counties. He served in the 50th and 51st Arkansas General Assembly, which were entirely Democratic during the Solid South period. He was elected as a Democrat (defeating incumbent William J. Driver in the 1938 Democratic primary) to the Seventy-sixth and to the fourteen succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1939 – January 3, 1969) as a representative of Arkansas\' 1st Congressional District. He was a signatory of the 1956 Southern Manifesto that opposed the desegregation of public schools ordered by the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education.

Retirement and death

Gathings resided in West Memphis, Arkansas, where he died May 2, 1979. He was interred in Crittenden Memorial Park, Marion, Arkansas.


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