Interview with Ralph Reed, February 6, 2018

Collection: Two-Party Georgia Oral History Project

Dublin Core


Reed discusses his childhood and describes how he became involved in politics. Reed discusses meeting Pat Robertson in 1989 and being coaxed into writing a memo explaining how to organize evangelical voters. Reed explains that the memo earned him the job as executive director of the Christian coalition. Reed summarizes the tensions in Georgia during the 1990s between the social conservative wing of the Republican Party and the “establishment” Republican wing, epitomized in the 1992 Senate race. Reed then talks about being elected state party chairman for the Georgia Republican Party, detailing his involvement the 2002 gubernatorial and Senate campaigns. Reed concludes by describing the difficulties Republicans face as the governing party of Georgia and the effects Donald Trump may have on the Republican Party.

Ralph Reed was born to a military family in 1961. His family moved to Toccoa, Georgia during his teenage years and after graduating, Reed attended the University of Georgia. In 1980, he interned with the lieutenant governor Zell Miller’s office and was elected chairman of the University’s College Republicans. He graduated in 1985 and attended Emory University for his doctoral degree in history. During that time, he organized and managed Students for America. While finishing up his dissertation in 1989, Reed met Pat Robertson, who offered Reed a job as executive director of the Christian Coalition. Reed accepted and remained in the position until 1997. He campaigned for both of George W. Bush’s presidential campaigns and served as the chairman of the Georgia Republican Party from 2001 to 2003.






Oral History Item Type Metadata



140 minutes


Ralph Reed and Ashton Ellett, “Interview with Ralph Reed, February 6, 2018,” UGA Special Collections Libraries Oral Histories, accessed July 14, 2024,