He was 16 when they met, she was two years younger. For 61 years they were husband and wife.

When his wife, Virginia, passed away last year, a grief-stricken Lester Maddox resolved to work to keep other marriages together. The 82-year-old former Georgia governor is launching a one-man campaign, taking out newspaper ads to persuade couples to stick to their vows."DEAR MOMS & DADS. Help Save Lives, Families and U.S.A. STAY MARRIED," said an ad in Monday's Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

"If I can save one family and it doesn't cost but a few thousand dollars, then it's worth it," Maddox said.