Carolina’s Cooter

A recent Raleigh News and Observer column alerted me to the fact that the Tar Heel state can claim Ben L. Jones, otherwise known as The Dukes of Hazzard‘s Cooter Davenport, as a native son. Jones was born in Tarboro and later attended the University of North Carolina in the mid-1960s. While in Chapel Hill, he took part in several civil rights protests and performed in plays with the university’s Playmakers Theatre. (The accompanying picture comes from the 1963 Yackety Yack, UNC’s yearbook.) After his stint as Hazzard County’s “Crazy Cooter,” Jones turned to politics, representing Georgia’s Fourth District in Congress from 1989 to 1993. He has recently released an autobiography, which is titled Redneck Boy in the Promised Land: The Confessions of “Crazy Cooter.”

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