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Bill Hefner

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Bill Hefner
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 8th district
In office
January 3, 1975 – January 3, 1999
Preceded byEarl B. Ruth
Succeeded byRobin Hayes
Personal details
Willie Gathrel Hefner

(1930-04-11)April 11, 1930
Elora, Tennessee, U.S.
DiedSeptember 2, 2009(2009-09-02) (aged 79)
Huntsville, Alabama, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseNancy Hefner
EducationUniversity of Alabama, Tuscaloosa

Willie Gathrel Hefner (April 11, 1930 – September 2, 2009), was an American radio personality and Democratic U.S. Congressman from North Carolina, serving between 1975 and 1999.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Elora, Tennessee, Hefner graduated from high school in Sardis, Alabama. He attended the University of Alabama, and he became the president and owner of radio station WRKB in Kannapolis, North Carolina. He was a member of the Harvesters Quartet, a group of gospel music singers based in North Carolina, from 1954 to 1967, and was a television performer on numerous North Carolina TV channels.

In 1974, he was elected as a Democrat to the 94th United States Congress; he served a total of 12 terms, from January 3, 1975, until January 3, 1999, when he retired from Congress.

Hefner built a reputation as an advocate for veterans, and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salisbury, North Carolina, was renamed in his honor on April 16, 1999.[1]

After retiring from Congress, Hefner moved with his wife, Nancy, to Alabama. He served from October 2001 until November 2002 as the District One commissioner for Marshall County, Alabama. He died in Huntsville, Alabama, on September 2, 2009, after suffering a brain aneurysm.[2]


  1. ^ Wineka, Mark (April 15, 1999). "VA facility to be renamed for Rep. Hefner". Salisbury Post. Archived from the original on July 6, 2008. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  2. ^ "Former Congressman Bill Hefner dies at 79". The Fayetteville Observer. 2009-09-03.

There is an elementary school named after Bill Hefener in Fayetteville, NC. The school is in the city limits but sits on the edge of Ft. Bragg. The school serves students in prek-5th grade. Currently, as of 2022 the school is run by Dr. Donald Cahill and Jessica Cashwell.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 8th congressional district

Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Response to the State of the Union address
Served alongside: Les AuCoin, Joe Biden, Bill Bradley, Robert Byrd, Tom Daschle, Barbara Kennelly, George Miller, Tip O'Neill, Paul Simon, Paul Tsongas, Tim Wirth
Succeeded by