But the man associated with Wallace's infamous "segregation forever" speech was reborn as a best-selling author. Carter wrote The Education of Little Tree under the pen name Forrest Carter.
The book, which tells the touching story of an orphaned boy who goes to live with Cherokee grandparents in Tennessee, shot to No. 1 on the New York Times non-fiction paperback bestseller list in the 1990s.
The unmasking of its author led fans of the book to wonder how they could be duped by a man with such a dubious past.
In 1979, Carter was reportedly working on a sequel when he died in Abilene, Texas, at age 53.
Though the author's confidants denied he was Wallace's former speechwriter, his body was buried in a DeArmanville Cemetery under the name Asa Carter.