William Winter served as Governor of Mississippi from 1980 to 1984. Prior to that he was elected to the offices of state representative, state tax collector, state treasurer and lieutenant governor. He served as chairman of the Southern Regional Education Board, the Commission on the Future of the South, the National Civic League, the Kettering Foundation, the Foundation for the Mid-South, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the Ole Miss Alumni Association.
Winter was a member of President Clinton’s National Advisory Board on Race and was instrumental in the founding of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation at the University of Mississippi. He was awarded the Profile in Courage Award by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.
Winter is a fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation. In 1998, he was the recipient of the Mississippi Bar’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
His credentials within the academic community are long standing: Jamie Whitten Professor of Law and Government at the University of Mississippi School of Law (1989); Eudora Welty Professor of Southern Studies at Millsaps College (1989); Fellow, Institute of Politics, Harvard University (1985); and President, Ole Miss Alumni Association (1978).
Born in Grenada, Winter served overseas as an infantry officer in the Pacific in World War II. An attorney in the Jones Walker law firm in Jackson, he is married to the former Elise Varner (BA 48). They have three daughters, five grandchildren and four great grandchildren.