North Carolina's legendary Democrat, Dr. Wallace Hyde of Raleigh has passed away after a 20 year battle against Parkinson's Disease.
Dr. Hyde grew up in Graham County in the North Carolina mountains. He earned a BS Degree and a Master's Degree from Western Carolina University. He received an Exxon Fellowship Scholarship to attend New York University where he earned a Doctorate Degree in Highway Safety. He was instrumental in establishing the state's drivers education program.
He was active in Terry Sanford's 1960 campaign for Governor and served as the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles for a short time. He then moved to Asheville and was in the insurance business for over 35 years.
He headed Gov. Bob Scott's statewide committee to restructure the NC higher education system from which the 16-campus University of North Carolina system evolved in 1971. He served on the first UNC Board of Governors.
Gov. Jim Hunt appointed him to the NC Bank Board. For 15 years he served on the Board of Western Carolina University and endowed a Professorship there in honor of his wife.
Dr. Hyde was an early and avid supporter of Jimmy Carter for President and served as his fundraising chair for the southeastern United States. In 1976 he and his wife, Ambassador Jeanette Hyde, held an elegant fundraising dinner for Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter on the front lawn of the Biltmore Estate.
Dr. Hyde is survived by his wife of 28 years, Jeanette Wallace Hyde, and two children, Barbara White and Charles Hyde, who live in Asheville