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How Virginia Governor Ralph Northam went from being a respected US Army veteran and physician to being embroiled in two national controversies

Cliff Owen/AP

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has been embroiled in controversy following the discovery of a 1984 yearbook photo featuring "racist and offensive" blackface and KKK costumes.



Northam is a former US Army medical officer and career physician who has been described as a staunch opponent of racism.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam was thrust into the national spotlight over two controversies that have emerged after his first year in office. After sparking debate with confusing comments about the dangers facing mothers and babies in later-term abortions, a 1984 yearbook photo featuring "racist and offensive" blackface and KKK costumes surfaced on the conservative site Big League Politics. Northam has faced condemnation from both sides of the aisle for the photos, and near-universal cries from politicians to resign. Read more:'No defense for that shockingly racist photograph': Democrats are calling for Gov. Ralph Northam's resignation after he appears in racist 1984 yearbook photo Before the debacle, Northam had a thriving career. Northam is a Virginia native, former US Army medical officer, and physician who has been described as a staunch opponent of racism, but the storm over his 1984 yearbook page seems to pose a serious threat to his previously strong reputation.
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