Interview with Charles Campbell, May 5, 2009

Collection: Richard B. Russell Library Oral History Documentary Collection

Dublin Core


Richard B. Russell's niece Sally Russell Warrington interviews Charles Campbell about his work for Senator Richard B. Russell and Russell’s activities from 1965 to 1971. Campbell discusses growing up in Jackson, Georgia, and attending the University of Georgia. He recalls joining Senator Russell's Washington, D.C. staff in 1965. Campbell recalls working his way from legislative assistant to executive secretary and subsequently administrative assistant. He discusses the nature of Senator Russell's relationship with his staff. Campbell comments on Russell's attitude toward Georgia and his perception of the Civil Rights Movement, sit-ins, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Campbell reflects on Senator Russell's reputation and work on Congressional issues other than civil rights, including his work with agriculture policy, national defense, education, rural electrification, and the space program. He discusses Russell's mentorship of younger senators. Campbell discusses Senator Russell's relationship with Lyndon Johnson and the media. Campbell comments on his work as the Chairman of the Russell Foundation and the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies. He discusses Russell's eulogies and funeral.

Charles E. Campbell was born in 1942. Graduating with a degree in political science from the University of Georgia in 1964, he had begun work on a master’s degree when he was asked to introduce Senator Richard B. Russell at a Blue Key banquet in October 1964. Impressed, Russell hired Campbell, who went to work for Russell in December of 1965 as a legislative assistant. Campbell became Russell’s executive secretary and then his administrative assistant (chief of staff), staying with the Senator until Russell’s death in 1971. During this time he earned his law degree, and, following his tenure in Washington, he went to practice law with Heyman and Sizemore. In 1974 and 1980 Campbell helped manage Herman Talmadge’s senate campaigns. Campbell retired from the firm of McKenna Long and Aldridge in 2009, as a top-ranked bankruptcy/restructuring attorney. In 2009, he retired as chairman of the Russell Foundation, a position he held for seventeen years.






Oral History Item Type Metadata


Athens, Georgia


99 minutes


Charles Campbell and Sally Russell Warrington, “Interview with Charles Campbell, May 5, 2009,” UGA Special Collections Libraries Oral Histories, accessed September 23, 2020,