Senator Alexander Comments on the Passing of Friend and Former Henning Mayor Fred Montgomery

Posted on July 12, 2006

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) made the following statement after learning that his friend and former Henning, Tennessee mayor, Fred Montgomery, passed away today at the age of 89: “As his best boyhood friend Alex Haley used to say, Fred Montgomery's death ‘is like a library burning down.’ Fred was the careful keeper of the Alex Haley museum in Henning. Fred and Alex grew up in houses three blocks apart. They met when Alex was three and Fred was four. Although their great-grandparents were born slaves, Fred grew up to be mayor of Henning and Alex won a Pulitzer Prize for ‘Roots.’ I will always treasure the night I spent at the Montgomery home in Henning on the Fourth of July, 1994, and I will miss Fred's wisdom and his friendship.” On July 4, 1994, in the midst of deciding whether or not to run for president in 1996, Alexander began an 8,800-mile drive across America with an overnight visit at the Henning home of Mayor Fred Montgomery. ###