Bo Callaway

Howard Hollis Callaway, Sr., known as Bo Callaway, was an American politician and businessman from the states of Georgia and Colorado.

In 1964, he ran as a “Goldwater Republican” for a seat in the House of Representatives from Georgia’s 3rd congressional district. He won, having defeated the former lieutenant governor, Garland T. Byrd, 57 percent to 43 percent. Callaway thus became the first Republican elected to the US House from Georgia since the Reconstruction era.

Callaway was the first Republican even to seek the Georgia governorship since 1876 but was not elected. A week after the inauguration of his competitor, Callaway replaced former President Eisenhower as director of Freedoms Foundation, a nonpartisan group dedicated to patriotic causes located in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. A few months later, he became the Georgia Republican national committeeman and Richard M. Nixon’s 1968 “southern coordinator,” which secured Nixon’s nomination through the Southern Strategy with the help of other Deep South figures, such as Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina and the state chairmen Charlton Lyons of Louisiana and Clarke Reed of Mississippi.

In 1973, Callaway began a stint as Secretary of the Army under Presidents Nixon and Ford and was an important figure in managing the post-Vietnam transition from the draft to the all-volunteer army. After managing the first phase of the Ford election campaign, Callaway resigned in 1976.

In 1976, Callaway and his family subsequently moved to Colorado, where he acquired the Crested Butte Mountain Resort. In 1980, he was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination for the US Senate in Colorado. From 1981 to 1987, Callaway served as the chairman of the Colorado Republican Party and as head of the political action committee GOPAC.