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Lewis Grizzard

Through thousands of newspaper columns and twenty books, the Georgia-born humorist forged a bond with Southern readers—whether he wrote about football-carrying Dawgs in Athens, the chili variety at the Varsity, or his beloved black Lab, Catfish. At twenty-three the UGA alum became the youngest sports editor in the history of the Atlanta Journal, where he worked alongside his idol Furman Bisher. But when the Atlanta Constitution assigned him to write a column in 1977, Grizzard became a star, syndicated in 450 newspapers and with recurring visits to Johnny Carson’s couch on The Tonight Show. He died from heart failure at age forty-seven. A portion of his ashes was scattered on the fifty-yard line at Sanford Stadium.

James Edward “Billy” McKinney and Cynthia McKinney

In 1989 the McKinneys became the first simultaneous father-daughter Georgia reps, and Cynthia went on to become the state’s first African American U.S. congresswoman. Both politicians proved fiery advocates for the poor and disenfranchised. Billy was one of Atlanta’s first black police officers—which didn’t stop him from forming a one-man picket line to demand the city hire more. A firm believer in equal-opportunity offensives, Billy cochaired Sidney Marcus’s (unsuccessful) mayoral campaign against Andy Young in 1981. Cynthia, who literally learned the ropes of civil action upon her father’s shoulders, served six terms in the U.S. House and was the Green Party’s presidential candidate in 2008. She lost credibility over conspiracy theories, such as implying that President Bush had prior knowledge of 9/11 and that, after Katrina, the Department of Defense secretly disposed of 5,000 bodies bearing single gunshots to the head.

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).

Eldrin Bell

The Clayton County Board of Commissioners chair, former Atlanta police chief, and Baptist minister has led a flamboyant lifestyle that has often gotten him into hot water.

Deion Sanders

The over-the-top athlete lived up to his two nicknames, “Prime Time” and “Neon Deion,” while playing cornerback for the Atlanta Falcons and outfielder for the Atlanta Braves. Simultaneously.

RuPaul

Long before becoming host of the LogoTV reality show RuPaul’s Drag Race the drag performer strutted the stage at Atlanta nightclubs 688, Tokyo Beach, Colorbox, and Weekends throughout the 1980s.

Blondie Strange

In a move that combines burlesque with recycling, Blondie Strange crushes Budweiser empties flatter than platters between her breasts without flinching, dismounts the stage, and pulls a Sharpie from behind the bar to autograph them for the hooting frat boys, intown scenesters, and gamy night crawlers who are waving dollar bills.

Dolores French

In 1988, French penned a titillating tell-all, Working: My Life as a Prostitute. In it she revealed that Atlanta is a choice location for prostitutes because of the airport.

Ryan Gainey

Ryan Gainey did for gardening what Martha Stewart did for housekeeping.

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.

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