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Provenance: Gift of Albert M. Spradling III, December 2004
 
Citation:  Albert M. Spradling, Jr. Collection, Special Collection and Archives, Southeast Missouri State University
 
Restrictions: None
 
Biographical Note
 
Albert M Spradling Jr., was born on March 13, 1920, in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.  He was the son of Albert M. and Alma Willer Spradling.  Spradling married Margaret Whyman, July 9, 1943, in Tyler, Texas, and they became the parents of two sons, Albert III and Robert.

Mr. Spradling ran as a Democrat and was elected in a special election to the Missouri State Senate when D. W. Gilmore left the Senate to become a circuit judge.  At thirty-one years of age, Mr. Spradling was one of the youngest senators in Missouri history.  He served in the FBI during World War II and in the Senate for twenty-five years (1952-1976).  He was he only state Senator and one of a few legislators with service to the FBI.

Mr. Spradling had been a lawyer in Cape Girardeau since 1945, and upon the death of his father, Albert Sr., Mr. Spradling took over this father's law practice.  Mr. Spradling established his reputation as a Senator of considerable ability through his successful reform of mental health treatment regulations in Missouri in his first year of Senate service.  On this kind of record, he won the leadership position of president pro tempore for the 71st and 72nd General Assemblies, (1961-1961).

Beyond Senator Spradling's efforts to reform mental health care, from primitive to modern institutions, he also participated in legislating for open meetings and the Freedom of Information Act, otherwise known as the "Sunshine Laws." In 1973, Senator Spradling became Senior Senator, and in 1976 he announced retirement from the Senate in response to legislation regarding campaign contribution legislation.  As some of his contributors were also his clients in his capacity as a lawyer, he felt that divulging any financial information would violate the rules of client confidentiality.

Albert M. Spradling, Jr., returned to his practice in Cape Girardeau after his retirement from the Senate.  Although Mr. Spradling was a Democrat in his service, he was also a known conservative.  He campaigned in the 1980 Bill Emerson congressional campaign and for Ronald Reagan in the 1984 presidential election.  Mr. Spradling was active in community groups and served as Chairman for local banking committees.

Mr. Spradling was the recipient of many awards for meritorious service on both the State and local levels.  He was known for his humor and booming voice.  He died on October 20, 2004.  He was preceded in death by his wife and parents, and was survived by his two sons, their wives and six grandchildren.
 
Scope and Content
 
This collection is primarily composed of newspaper clippings, articles published in periodicals, campaign advertisements, personal and political photographs, documents relating to Senator Spradling's career, and miscellaneous personal correspondence.
 
Archivist Note:  Albert M. Spradling Jr.’s name is abbreviated in the container list and on folders as AMS, Jr.
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