J. Sargeant Reynolds was a member of the House of Delegates (1966–1967) and the Senate of Virginia (1968–1969) and was the lieutenant governor of Virginia (1970–1971). The son of industrialist Richard S. Reynolds Jr., he enjoyed the advantages of wealth and social position, but used his privilege to advocate for the less fortunate. Reynolds positioned himself as a moderate and won support across the political spectrum despite his more liberal goals, which included education improvement, economic development, and equal opportunity regardless of race. The‘ most promising candidate for the 1973 gubernatorial race, Reynolds was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in the summer of 1970. After undergoing radiation treatments, he was able to preside over the state senate in January 1971. That April, at a whites-only political gathering in Southside Virginia, he denounced the ‘s policy and defiance of United States Supreme Court decisions such as Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina (1971), which upheld the busing of schoolchildren for the purpose of . Thereafter, his health declined: further radiation treatments weakened his immune system, and he contracted pneumonia. He died on June 13, 1971, at age thirty-four.