Wallace was born in Clio, Alabama. After he graduated from University of Alabama in 1942, he entered a pilot training and became a successful pilot during the Second World War. After the war he became a state representative in the Alabama House of Representatives. In 1953, he became the Speaker and in 1955 Attorney General to fight against crime around the state directly. In 1958, he ran successfully for the Democratic nomination for the governorship against 12 other candidates and wins 45% in the first round and 62% in the run-off and won in a landslide against the Republican nominee William Longshore. In 1962, Wallace is easily re-elected governor winning 73% and 98% of the vote in the primary and general elections respectively. He ran for the Democratic nomination in 1964 but lost to incumbent president Lyndon Johnson. In 1967, after he left the office, he started the building up of the right-wing American Independent Party and by November, the party had achieved ballot status in all fifty states and D.C. next year he ran against the Republican nominee Nelson Rockefeller and Democratic nominee Gene McCarthy for the presidency and won.
During his first term as president, Wallace ended the American involvement in South Eastern Asia by winning the war. His administration proposed a bold set of domestic plans which include paying-off the national debt by 1985, cutting taxes, increased spending on the space program and new types of weapons, and passing a balanced budget amendment through congress after the war and unified the AIP with the GOP to form the Conservative Party.
He was reelected by largest landslide in U.S. history in 1972, when he defeated George McGovern. In his second term, he launched his second set of domestic programs, massive tax cut, federal regulation reform, and started to place a permanent Lunar Station and building the SDI. In a response of an Arab oil embargo, he announced that the U.S. will set a goal of building 250 nuclear power plants by 1985, and spent a lot of money on the researches for fusion power. He left the Office in 1977 and was succeeded by Vice President Ronald Reagan.
After one and a half year of retirement, he announced that he's running again for the governorship and was elected unopposed in 1978 and reelected in 1982. During his second gubernatorial tenure, he continued what he began during his first tenure to modernize the state. He retired in 1987 and was succeeded by his lieutenant H. Guy Hunt.
In retirement, Wallace's work authoring several books and his presidential library was dedicated in 1990. Wallace's son, George Corley Wallace, III., later served as the 49th Governor of Alabama (1995–2000), and 43rd President of the United States (2001–2009), becoming one of only two presidents—the other being John Quincy Adams—to be the son of a former president.