State News

Politicians, others pay respects to ex-auditor Campbell

Posted January 14, 2011

— People paid respects Friday to Ralph Campbell Jr., the first black person to be elected to statewide political office in North Carolina, as he lay in repose in the State Capitol. Overhead, state flags flew at half-staff in his honor.

Campbell, 64, died Tuesday after a battle with lung cancer.

His casket arrived at the Capitol at about 10 a.m., accompanied by an honor guard. Gov. Beverly Perdue was there to greet his family and became emotional while standing over the casket.

"He was a good man. (He) loved North Carolina," Perdue said.

Former Gov. Jim Hunt, State Treasurer Janet Cowell and several state cabinet secretaries were among the steady stream of people to pay respects to Campbell.

"He was a bulldog for the voters and taxpayers of North Carolina," Hunt said.

Campbell was part of a prominent Raleigh family of civil rights activists. He served six years on the Raleigh City Council before being elected state auditor in 1992. He served three terms as auditor.

Hunt called the Campbell family "an example of courage and moral rightness in the history of this state."

"This is a family that is part of North Carolina's history, and Ralph epitomized the strength and integrity of the Campbell family," Perdue said.

Ralph Campbell lies in repose in Capitol Body of ex-auditor Campbell lies in Capitol

She ordered that North Carolina state flags remain at half-staff through early Tuesday.

Lying in repose is a high state honor. The last person to be so honored was longtime Secretary of State Thad Eure, who died in 1993.

As Campbell was honored, state workers held their annual King Day observance at a church next to Union Square, where the Capitol sits.

A visitation was scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. Friday in the Fletcher Opera Theater at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh.

His funeral will be at noon Saturday at St. Ambrose Episcopal Church, 813 Darby St., followed by burial at Carolina Biblical Gardens in Garner. will carry Ralph Campbell's funeral live at noon Saturday.


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  • ccs1920 Jan 14, 2011

    rhowerton/ Do you know if his brother, Bill Campbell, has been released from prison? I havn't read anything about him recently.

  • hunt36 Jan 14, 2011

    and besides who cares if he smoked or not Clinton smoked but did not inhale and most people liked him. don't kick people when they are down and talk bad about the dead--that is just wrong as it can be at least he tried to make the state more honest and that in it's self IS an accomplishment!!!!!

  • peppercorns Jan 14, 2011

    Why is he Lying in State? He was part of a family that helped the civil rights movement. He didn't. He was elected by the people several times because he did his job well. He didn't do anything out of the ordinary. The people of North Carolina did; they elected a black man to the state suditor positino, because he was qualified and deserved it.
    Stop sucking up Perdue.

  • rhowerton Jan 14, 2011

    I Am From "ATLANTA GA" Yes Bill Campbell Done Atlanta WRONG This Does Not Mean Ralph Done The Same. He Smoked But That Was His Choice. Look At All That Has Happened To Us Here In N.C.. LEO Judges Sheriff's & ETC. Can't Name Them All, They Were Home Breaker's, Messing With Someone's Wife Or There Husband's Or There Bosses Wife, U Know Who They Are. I Don't Recall Ralph Doing Any Of That. Let This Man Rest In Peace & Do Something To N.C. Home Breakers & LEO

  • insincere-gesundheit-redux Jan 14, 2011

    lying in state?????? this is crazy

  • ccs1920 Jan 14, 2011

    jdupree/ I agree with you. Everyone knows why he's receiving special treatment. GWALLY/ You are also correct. I'm waiting on 2012.

  • GOPACK80 Jan 14, 2011

    "A longtime smoker, Ralph Campbell was diagnosed last fall with lung cancer."...WRAL.

    No doubt his life was cut short by at least 15 years because of his addiction to cigarettes. This sad story should be a lesson for all smokers..... Smoke and you will likely have an early demise.

  • GWALLY Jan 14, 2011

    Dang...simply playing to the base!!!!

  • jdupree Jan 14, 2011

    If he smoked, it was his own decision. I thought lying in state in the state or US capitol was reserved for Presidents and Governors past and present or significant leaders/statesmen of state. Campbell was elected to a state wide position, however I would not call him even close to being a great statesman. We have lost numerous GI in Iraq and Afganistan during the last couple of weeks and that has barely made the news. We have police officers killed in the line of duty likewise. Greatness is relative to the unit of measure. I just don't see this one measure up to a great statesman. His family was very political, but politicians are not rare and nowdays not even to be admired with all the inditements and convictions. Even his brother Bill was convicted in Federal Court in Atlanta and served time as a result.

  • dhhart001 Jan 14, 2011

    To Ticktock--

    Not all forms of lung cancer are the result of smoking. I do not know whether or not if Mr. Campbell smoked--- frankly, that is not relevant at this time. For the record, my father in law succombed to lung cancer in 2003--- to my knowledge, he never smoked. So much for that theory.