Farewell to Santini

Pat Conroy has been writing about his family for forty years, but always with a wispy protective veil of literary license. Devoted fans who have relished every fictional breadcrumb while speculating about the depth of the real-life Conroys’ dysfunction have been waiting a long time for his latest book, The Death of Santini.

John Lewis

One of the youngest heroes of the civil rights movement, John Lewis moved to Atlanta in 1963 to head the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

Herbert Jenkins

Soon after Mayor William Hartsfield named him police chief, Jenkins busted up the KKK-infiltrated police union and hired the city’s first eight black officers.

Neal Boortz

Tact has never been Boortz’s priority. A fiscal conservative and FairTax advocate, the avowed Libertarian espouses liberal views on social issues such as the legalization of drugs, gay rights, and abortion (which he refuses to discuss on air).

Ralph McGill

McGill won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing after he denounced the 1958 bombing of the Temple on Peachtree Street. The lionhearted journalist, who had covered the rise of Hitler, linked the bombing to the racial hatred of the South’s white leaders.
Joseph E. Lowery

The Reverend Joseph Lowery

The Reverend Joseph Lowery is uncharacteristically quiet as he sits at a long table inside the modest room in Downtown’s Atlanta Life Insurance Company building. Between bites of fried chicken and peach cobbler, he occasionally interjects or asks a question, but mostly he listens attentively, staring out at a group that’s as diverse as the issues for which its members are so passionate.

Lawman

"What's happenin', my friend?" Vernon Keenan is saying hello to a large, shy-looking man named John Gibson in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s main elevator, as the doors open and Keenan steps in. The top of his balding head reaches just past Gibson’s shoulders.

Shirley Franklin

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.

Herman Russell

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.

Million-Dollar Dweeb

Atlanta’s millionaire consumer guru Clark Howard never aimed to be a media star, much less the darling of the public and the object of beautiful women’s attentions. The bespectacled Howard is a self-described nerd, a dweeb, or as he expresses it, “a complete flake,” whose idea of a fun Saturday night is sitting at the computer searching for best buys.

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