History - Atlanta Magazine
Articles on Atlanta History

Author Betsy Riley

  • Betsy Riley

    Executive Editor

    The editor of Atlanta’s former shelter magazine, Atlanta Magazine’s HOME, she specializes in lifestyle topics such as home and garden, education, healthcare, real estate, travel, and shopping. She also writes occasional narrative features. On the broadcast front, she is a regular contributor to local NPR affiliate WABE’s “Weekend Preview” segments. Before joining the editorial staff ten years ago, Riley was a freelance editor for the magazine for another ten years. During that time, she wrote many features and edited the magazine’s monthly “Atlanta Life” section. She has also written for other regional and national magazines, including O (Oprah’s magazine), Ladies Home Journal, Town & Country, Parenting, and Southern Living. With former Atlanta magazine art director Elaine Hightower, Riley is the author of the award-winning Our Family Meeting Book. She began her career as a medical journalist, eventually becoming publisher of national award-winning newsletters produced by a division of Medical Economics. A graduate of Wake Forest University, she and her husband Mark have lived in Atlanta since 1980. They have two college-age sons.


Georgian Terrace Centennial

The legendary hotel turns 100

The Georgian Terrace Hotel was completed in 1911 at a cost of $500,000. Early guests included Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tallulah Bankhead, Charles Lindbergh, and President Calvin Coolidge. Read More

Hosea Williams


Hosea “Hosey” Williams served as a Georgia legislator, Atlanta City Council member, and DeKalb County commissioner, but his extracurricular activities earned him the most notoriety. Read More

Joseph Lowery

(b. 1921)

Lowery, a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, is nothing if not outspoken. Read More

Benjamin Mays


The eighth child of former South Carolina slaves, Benjamin Mays rose to become the longtime president of Morehouse College, building it into one of the nation’s foremost African American institutions. Read More

Maynard Jackson


The child of black Atlanta aristocrats, Jackson was the first grandson of John Wesley Dobbs, the unofficial “Mayor of Auburn Avenue” and a visionary who worked to register black voters. Read More

Andrew Young

(b. 1932)

In MLK’s inner circle, Andrew Young was the refined diplomat. Read More

Shirley Franklin

(b. 1945)

Given that Mayor Franklin’s motto was “Ask not what the city can do for you, but what you can do for the city,” it’s fitting that she won a Kennedy Library Foundation Profiles in Courage award. Read More

Ivan Allen Jr.


Born into a wealthy family, the World War II vet married the granddaughter of city patriarch Hugh T. Inman. From 1962 to 1970, Allen proved a heroic mayor. Read More

Archbishop Paul J. Hallinan


The city’s progressive first archbishop became an international champion of Catholic reform and ecumenism. Read More

Herman Russell

(b. 1930)

A generous, behind-the-scenes philanthropist, Russell was the first black member of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce (invited by “mistake” via form letter) and its second black president. Read More