She earned degrees in home economics from the University of Georgia in the 1930s, when few other options were available to women. But there was nothing domestic about the career she created for herself as the consummate Atlanta political insider. While her name is largely unknown today, her influence was wide-reaching. A PR and advertising executive, she also served as adviser to mayors Hartsfield, Allen, and Massell. She was skilled in forging alliances between black and white community groups and was hired by the Atlanta Housing Authority in the 1970s to help with tenant relations. She founded Helen Bullard Associates, the first female-owned PR firm in Atlanta, in 1968 and ran the company until she died.
Stats Bullard estimated that she worked at least 165 campaigns over her four-decade career—with a 96 percent success rate.
Literary Ambition Bullard wrote poetry and short stories and was published in the Saturday Review of Literature, Midwest Review, Family Circle, and other magazines.
This article originally appeared in the May 2011 issue.