“In looking back over my life, I suppose I have the normal share of regrets. But if I had it all to do over again, I wouldn’t hesitate to enter politics. The rewards far outweigh the price one has to pay. When I speak to a civic club or just walk down the street, I invariably run into someone who has benefited in some way from my three and a half decades in public life. Yes, it was a good life. But a political career, like all things, must finally come to an end. It’s been nearly sixty years since my teacher, Mrs. Enda Ballard Dugan, took me away from my hunting and fishing. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.”
Editor’s Note: When Herman Talmadge faced defeat in 1980, he found that there was a life outside of politics. He spent his retirement at his home in Hampton, Georgia with his family and remained out of the public eye. During his retirement, Talmadge found a love for fishing and hunting, hobbies he could never find the time to pursue as a senator. He continued to write prolifically even after leaving politics, mainly reflecting on his life and career. After many years of declining health, Talmadge died at his home in March 2002, at the age of 88.