Politician and Crested Butte owner

Passing Date: 
Saturday, March 15, 2014

Bo Callaway

Former Creste Butte owner Howard “Bo” Callaway, 86, died March 15, two years after suffering a massive stroke.

Callaway graduated West Point in 1949 and served as a platoon leader in the Korean War. In 1953, with his parents, he founded Callaway Gardens, a resort in Pine Mountain, Georgia.

In 1964, in the first election after passage of the Civil Rights Act, Callaway became the first Republican Congressman from Georgia since Reconstruction. Two years later he won a plurality of the popular vote in the race for governor, but without a majority the election went to the state legislature, which chose Democratic segregationist Lester Maddox. Callaway was named Secretary of the Army in 1973, during the wind-down of America’s role in the Vietnam War.

In 1970, Callaway became the principal owner of Crested Butte Mountain Resort, and later moved to Colorado to work there as CEO and steer the resort’s expansion onto new Forest Service land. His role was controversial. The Department of Justice launched, then dropped, an investigation into whether he had tried to influence the Forest Service to approve the expansion.

In 1980 Calloway narrowly lost the Republican primary to run for a Colorado seat in the U.S. Senate, and later served as chairman of the Colorado Republican Party. He sold Crested Butte in 2003 to Tim and Diane Mueller.

Callaway is survived by five children, 16 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. --Seth Masia

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