Interview with S. Jarvin Levison, January 22, 2018

Collection: Two-Party Georgia Oral History Project

Dublin Core


In this interview, Levison discusses his early life in Georgia and his decision to enlist in the military. He talks about going to college and law school at Emory University and his legal career in tax law. Levison then describes his early involvement in Republican politics in the 1950s and the 1960s, as the Georgia Republican Party started to rise to prominence. He then tells of the internal strife in the party that Barry Goldwater’s 1964 candidacy brought, splitting the party between moderates and conservatives. He then recalls the near-success of Bo Callaway in the 1966 gubernatorial election and Richard Nixon’s successful presidential run in 1968. Levison then comments on Rodney Cook and Paul Coverdell, two figures who were instrumental in building the Republican Party in the 1970s and 1980s. Levison ends by discussing the Republican Party since it has become dominant in Georgia, contrasting it with Democratic governance, as well as predicting what effects Donald Trump will have on the party.

S. Jarvin Levison was born in Bristol, Virginia in 1927, but his family had to relocate to Macon and then to Atlanta, Georgia to follow his father’s job opportunities. Levison graduated from Boys’ High in 1945 and enlisted in the air division of the U.S. Navy. Levison attended undergrad and law school at Emory and graduated in 1951. Levison worked in several law offices over the next several decades and became involved with Republican politics through Randolph Thrower. Levison became involved in the party structure as an “Eisenhower Republican”, becoming the Fifth District party chairman.






Oral History Item Type Metadata



123 minutes


S. Jarvin Levison and Ashton Ellett, “Interview with S. Jarvin Levison, January 22, 2018,” UGA Special Collections Libraries Oral Histories, accessed June 12, 2024,