Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection

Dublin Core

Subject

Georgia--History
Georgia--Politics and government
Politics and Public Policy

Description

The Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection consists of interviews with politically prominent Georgians conducted by Bob Short from 2006 to 2016. Interviewees include former governors, members of both the U.S. and Georgia Congresses, secretaries of state, lobbyists, journalists, lawyers, activists, and relatives of prominent politicians. Included with these oral histories are a few public programs recorded at Young Harris College in 2006-2007. Most interviews were recorded in the homes and offices of interviewees or in the Bob Short Oral History Studio at the University of Georgia. The conversations cover many topics at the intersection of politics and public life in modern Georgia, with a particular strength in gubernatorial contests, the Civil Rights movement, reapportionment, the development of Atlanta, the rise of the Republican party in Georgia, political journalism, and the interaction between religion and politics.

Creator

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies

Publisher

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies

Date

2006-2016

Identifier

RBRL220ROGP

Coverage

Georgia

Interviews in this Collection:

(rbrl220rogp-000-01)

In this interview Bob Short discusses Lester Maddox. Short coordinated the campaign of Jimmy Carter when Carter ran for governor of Georgia in 1966, and then worked as press secretary for Carter's opponent in that race, Governor Lester Maddox, in…

(rbrl220rogp-000-02)

George Berry discusses the political career of James Carmichael, including the 1946 governor's race against Eugene Talmadge and three governors controversy. Berry served as deputy chief administrative officer in Mayor Ivan Allen's administration and…

(rbrl220rogp-000-03)

In this interview Zell Miller discusses his early life and political career. Miller served as lieutenant governor of Georgia from 1975 to 1991, was elected governor of Georgia in 1990, and served as a United States senator. As governor he founded the…

(rbrl220rogp-000-04)

Bob Short worked in various capacities in the administrations of Georgia governors Marvin Griffin, Ernest Vandiver, and Carl Sanders, served as the coordinator for President Jimmy Carter’s 1966 campaign for governor of Georgia, and was press…

(rbrl220rogp-000-05)

Bob Short worked in various capacities in the administrations of Georgia governors Marvin Griffin, Ernest Vandiver, and Carl Sanders, served as the coordinator for President Jimmy Carter’s 1966 campaign for governor of Georgia, and was press…

(rbrl220rogp-000-06)

In this interview Pete Wheeler discusses his career as Commissioner of Veterans Services. Wheeler began this career during the Herman Talmadge administration in 1949.

(rbrl220rogp-000-07)

In this interview Bob Short discusses the Three Governors Controversy. Short worked in various capacities in the administrations of Georgia governors Marvin Griffin, Ernest Vandiver, and Carl Sanders, served as the coordinator for President Jimmy…

(rbrl220rogp-000-08)

Bob Short worked in various capacities in the administrations of Georgia governors Marvin Griffin, Ernest Vandiver, and Carl Sanders, served as the coordinator for President Jimmy Carter’s 1966 campaign for governor of Georgia, and was press…

(rbrl220rogp-000-09)

Bob Short worked in various capacities in the administrations of Georgia governors Marvin Griffin, Ernest Vandiver, and Carl Sanders, served as the coordinator for President Jimmy Carter’s 1966 campaign for governor of Georgia, and was press…

(rbrl220rogp-000-10)

Carl Sanders served in the Georgia House of Representatives and Senate and served as governor of Georgia from 1963-1967. Norman Underwood was a partner in Sanders’ law firm Troutman Sanders, LLP, in 1973, managed George Busbee’s campaign for…

(rbrl220rogp-001)

In this interview Bruce Russell and Earl Leonard discuss Richard B. Russell, Jr. Bruce Russell is the nephew of Richard B. Russell, Jr., and has worked as a school teacher, lawyer, and judge in various parts of north Georgia. Earl Leonard served as…

(rbrl220rogp-002)

T. Rogers Wade served as chief of staff to Senator Herman Talmadge from 1973 to 1980. He returned to Georgia to practice law and was active on many boards and foundations. In this interview, T. Rogers Wade discusses the career of Herman Talmadge.

(rbrl220rogp-003)

Bob Short moderates a panel discussion on the relationship between religion and politics in the United States. Panel members are Dr. Fred Craddock, Dr. Charles Gillespie, Dr. Jim Hale, and Dr. David Franklin. Topics covered include the role of…

(rbrl220rogp-004)

William “Bill” Shipp worked as a journalist in Georgia for fifty years. Shipp began his career as managing editor of the University of Georgia’s Red and Black newspaper. In 1956 Shipp began to write for the Atlanta Constitution, covering topics such…

(rbrl220rogp-005)

Carl Sanders served as governor from 1963 to 1967 and had a successful law career with his firm Troutman Sanders, LLC. In this interview, Sanders discusses his rise to governor of Georgia, the 1970 gubernatorial race, and his career after politics.

(rbrl220rogp-006)

Ed Jenkins was elected to the U.S. Congress as a Democrat in 1976. While in Congress, he was active in the Ways and Means Committee, passing and supporting bills involving taxes, trade, and land and mountain preservation. In this interview he…

(rbrl220rogp-007)

Joe Frank Harris served as governor of Georgia from 1983 to 1991, and is remembered for creating and implementing the Quality Basic Education Act (QBE), overseeing the building of the Georgia Dome, creating the Technical College System of Georgia,…

(rbrl220rogp-008)

Roy Barnes was elected to the Georgia State Senate in 1974, serving for eight years. In 1990 he made his first run for governor, but lost to Zell Miller. From 1992 to 1998 he served in the Georgia House of Representatives, followed by a successful…

(rbrl220rogp-009)

Carlton Colwell was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1964. He represented several North Georgia mountain counties for thirty years. Colwell served on various committees, including Appropriations, Ways and Means, and Fiscal Affairs.…

(rbrl220rogp-010)

Lauren “Bubba” McDonald was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1971. He served on various committees throughout his political career, including his five-year chairmanship of the Industry Committee and, later, the Appropriations…

(rbrl220rogp-011)

Bert Lance was Georgia’s highway director during Jimmy Carter’s term as governor. He ran an unsuccessful campaign to succeed Carter as governor in 1974. In 1976, Lance began his term as president of the National Bank of Georgia and became director of…

(rbrl220rogp-012)

Nathan Deal worked as a lawyer, assistant district attorney and judge, before being elected to the Georgia State Senate in 1981. He served until 1993, and was president pro tempore in his last term. Deal was elected in 1992 as a Democrat to the U.S.…

(rbrl220rogp-013)

Elizabeth “Betty” Vandiver and Jane Kidd are the wife and daughter, respectively, of the late Ernest Vandiver, governor of Georgia from 1959 to 1963. In this interview they recall memories of the former governor, focusing on topics such as the…

(RBRL220ROGP-014)

Mack Mattingly was born in Anderson, Indiana on January 7, 1931 and had a career in both business and politics in Georgia for many decades. In 1980 he became the first Republican from Georgia to serve in the U.S. Senate since Reconstruction. In this…

(RBRL220ROGP-015)

Griffin Bell was born Americus, Georgia, on October 31, 1918 and received his law degree at the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University. In this interview, Bell discusses his early years growing up in Americus, his law career, his role as…

(RBRL220ROGP-016)

Leroy Reginald Johnson was born in Atlanta, Georgia on July 28, 1928. He attended Morehouse College, worked in the Fulton County Solicitor-General’s office, and served as a Georgia senator from 1963-1975, becoming the first black legislator in the…

(RBRL220ROGP-017)

Samuel Marvin Griffin, Jr. was the publisher of the Bainbridge Post-Searchlight from 1972 until 2008 and son of Georgia Governor Marvin Griffin, who held office from 1955 to 1959. In this interview he discusses the life and career of his father. Ben…

(RBRL220ROGP-018)

John Hardy "Johnny" Isakson was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on December 28, 1944 and has served in politics since his election to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1976. Since then, he has served in the Georgia senate and both houses of Congress,…

(RBRL220ROGP-019)

Clarence Saxby Chambliss was born in Warrenton, North Carolina on November 10, 1943. He attended Louisiana Tech University and the University of Georgia, earning a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1966. He received his law degree from…

(RBRL220ROGP-020)

Lera Catherine "Cathy" Cox was born in Bainbridge, Georgia, in 1958 and has served as a state representative, Secretary of State, and as the 21st president of Young Harris College. Cox discusses her early years in Bainbridge, Ga., and her career path…

(RBRL220ROGP-021)

David Gambrell worked as campaign treasurer during Jimmy Carter's campaign for governor, and was appointed to the U.S. Senate by Governor Carter after the death of Richard Russell. In this interview Gambrell discusses the highlights of his service in…

(RBRL220ROGP-022)

Nancy Schaefer served as a Republican senator for Georgia's 50th district from 2004 to 2008. She presided over Family Concerns, Inc., a conservative religious group. In this interview, Schaefer discusses her early years in Clayton, Georgia, and her…

(RBRL220ROGP-023)

Herb Mabry studied labor law at Woodrow Wilson College of Law in Atlanta and entered union politics in 1950 through his carpentry work with Sears Roebuck and his membership with the Union Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. In 1969 he…

(RBRL220ROGP-024)

Tommy Irvin discusses his long career as Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture, a position he held from 1969 to 2011. Leading up to his service with the Department of Agriculture, Irvin served on the Habersham County School Board, directed the Georgia…

(RBRL220ROGP-025)

Terry Coleman was born in Dodge County, Georgia, and his legislative career began when he was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1972, where he served on the Appropriations Commitee. In this interview Coleman discusses his political…

(RBRL220ROGP-026)

Lauren "Bubba" McDonald grew up in Commerce, Georgia, and served as a commissioner in Jackson County before being elected to the state House in 1971, where he worked on the Industry Committee and the Appropriations Committee. He was later appointed…

(RBRL220ROGP-027)

Mike Bowers formerly served as Georgia's Attorney General (1981-1997) and made an unsuccessful run for governor in 1998. In this interview Bowers discusses his relationships with former Attorney General Arthur Bolton and George Busbee. He addresses…

(RBRL220ROGP-028)

Larry Walker discusses his long career in the Georgia House of Representatives, which began in 1972, including his role as house majority leader and as a member of Speaker Tom Murphy’s inner circle. Walker served in the house for 32 years and was…

(RBRL220ROGP-029)

Norman Underwood discusses the political careers of Georgia Governors Carl Sanders, Jimmy Carter, and George Busbee, as well as the major campaigns and issues that characterize the political atmosphere of late twentieth century Georgia. Some topics…

(RBRL220ROGP-030)

Joel Cowan discusses the planning and development of Peachtree City, urban development in Atlanta, and broader infrastructure issues in Georgia, such as transportation, housing, watershed management, and the roles that the public and private sectors…

(RBRL220ROGP-031)

Richard Guthman discusses his work on the Atlanta City Council and the major developments in the city since the 1970s. Guthman was elected to the council in 1973, representing District 8. Prior to this he chaired the Police Commission and the Fulton…

(RBRL220ROGP-032)

Doug Barnard discusses his early life and his career in banking and in Georgia and national politics. Barnard worked for the Georgia Railroad Bank and chaired the Democratic Executive Committee before becoming Governor Carl Sanders’ executive…

(RBRL220ROGP-033)

Ned Young discusses his activity with the Jaycees, a civic organization, in Georgia and nationally, as well as his career of campaign management. Young worked for Ellis Arnall’s 1966 gubernatorial campaign, Lester Maddox’s campaign for governor,…

(RBRL220ROGP-034)

James Tysinger discusses his early life and political career. He became interested in politics during Barry Goldwater’s campaign and became active with the Dekalb Republican Party. He was later elected to the Georgia Senate, where he served from 1968…

(RBRL220ROGP-035)

Buddy Darden served as a U.S Representative from Georgia’s 7th district from 1983 to 1995, and previously served as a Georgia Representative and Cobb County district attorney. In this interview he discusses his early life and his political career,…

(RBRL220ROGP-036)

Carter discusses his life as the son of President Jimmy Carter, from campaigning for his father to establishing free elections in Liberia. Throughout his life, he was active in many of his father’s affairs, from the peanut business to political…

(RBRL220ROGP-037)

Democratic Congressman Ed Jenkins discusses his 16 years of service, from attempts at preserving the textile industry in his district to serving on the Ethics committee during the Page scandal and Iran Contra affair. Jenkins discusses his fiscal,…

(RBRL220ROGP-038)

John Blackmon discusses attending law school at Emory University, working in the state law department and in the Georgia Revenue Department. He mentions his experiences working under Governor Lester Maddox as state revenue commissioner and explains…

(RBRL220ROGP-039)

Having served as a Representative in Georgia State House, the director of DFACS, chairman of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus, and Georgia Commissioner, Michael "Mike" Thurmond discusses his early life in Athens, his education, his experience…

(RBRL220ROGP-040)

James Lester “Jim L.” Gillis, Jr. is the grandson of Treutlen County founder and state representative Neil Gillis, the son of State Senator and Highway Commissioner Jim L. Gillis, and brother of Hugh Gillis. He discusses his time working as an…

(RBRL220ROGP-041)

Hugh Gillis was elected twice to the Georgia Senate, the first time in 1957, and the second in 1962. He would hold that seat for the next forty-two years, making him the longest-serving member of the Georgia General Assembly. In the senate, he was…

(RBRL220ROGP-042)

Elliot Levitas was elected as a Democrat to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1964 and later served as a U.S. Representative from Georgia's 4th congressional district. In this interview he talks about his long career in politics, including the…

(RBRL220ROGP-043)

Elected as a Democrat to the United States House of Representatives from the Eighth and later the Ninth District, Bill Stuckey served in Congress from 1967 until 1977. While in Congress, Stuckey served on the Agriculture committee, the District of…

(RBRL220ROGP-044)

In 1962, Rowan ran a successful campaign for the Georgia Senate. He was the youngest senator at the time. In 1974, he made an unsuccessful bid for governor. In 1989, he ran successfully for public service commissioner, and retired in 1994. Rowan…

(RBRL220ROGP-045)

Marvin Dawson Mathis served as the news director of WALB-TV in Albany, Georgia, before running a successful campaign for Congress in 1971. He served on several committees, including Agriculture, House Administration, and Steering and Policy. Mathis…

(RBRL220ROGP-046)

In 1969, Sam Massell was elected as a Democrat to be the Atlanta's first Jewish mayor. He discusses his early political career and his time as mayor, including the development of MARTA, his support for the advancement of minorities, and the role of…

(RBRL220ROGP-047)

John Charles Foster was elected to the Georgia Senate as a Democrat in 1974. He served as chairman of the Education Committee during his entire tenure in the senate. Under Governor Joe Frank Harris, Foster sponsored the Quality Basic Education Act…

(RBRL220ROGP-048)

Betty Bird Foy Sanders met Carl Sanders at the University of Georgia, and they married in 1947. When he entered politics, Betty campaigned with him, and they moved to Atlanta when Carl was elected governor in 1962. Sanders discusses raising two…

(RBRL220ROGP-049)

Helen Lewis was born in Cumming, Georgia, in 1924 and spent most of her career as an educator and activist for civil rights and social justice. Lewis discusses her student activism at Georgia State College for Women in the 1940s. In particular, she…

(RBRL220ROGP-050)

Eunice Lastinger Mixon taught eighth grade science and high school biology, chemistry and physics for thirty years in the Tift County School System, and was an instructor at the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. In 1974, gubernatorial candidate…

(RBRL220ROGP-051)

Betty Vandiver helped her husband Ernest Vandiver run a successful campaign for lieutenant governor in 1954 and in 1958, when Ernest Vandiver was elected governor of Georgia. As first lady, Betty Vandiver was instrumental in setting up…

(RBRL220ROGP-052)

James G. “Jim” Minter worked as a sportswriter for UGA’s The Red and Black newspaper, and then went on to the Atlanta Journal and the Atlanta Constitution, where he worked with Lewis Grizzard, Bill Shipp, and Reg Murphy. He was appointed executive…

(RBRL220ROGP-053)

Erwin Mitchell practiced law in Dalton, Georgia, before serving as a solicitor general for the Cherokee Judicial Circuit and subsequently as a Superior Court judge on the same circuit. In 1958 Mitchell was elected as a Democrat to the 85th Congress,…

(RBRL220ROGP-054)

Ben Blackburn was elected as a Republican to the US Congress from Georgia's fourth district and served from 1967 to 1975. While in Congress, Blackburn served on several committees, including Banking and Currency, the Housing Subcommittee, the Joint…

(RBRL220ROGP-055)

Louise McBee was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives from Athens-Clarke County in 1991. McBee served on and chaired several committees, including the Appropriations Committee, the Retirement Committee, the World Congress Center Overview…

(RBRL220ROGP-056)

In this interview Mary Anne Summers discusses her experiences working with a variety of Georgia politicians and public figures throughout the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. Summers became a secretary for Richard Ashford during the Vandiver administration.…

(RBRL220ROGP-057)

Keith Mason volunteered for Jimmy Carter and worked for Zell Miller in Miller’s 1974 run for lieutenant governor. He continued to work for Miller, establishing himself as an advisor during Miller’s gubernatorial race in 1990, and becoming Governor…

(RBRL220ROGP-058)

David Poythress began his career in the U.S. Air Force as a judge advocate general and became assistant attorney general in 1971. Since then, Poythress has served in a variety of elected and appointed positions, including as secretary of state, state…

(RBRL220ROGP-059)

Thurbert Baker worked in Fulton County in the public defender’s office. He then worked as a lawyer for the Environmental Protection Agency. In 1989, he ran his first campaign for the Georgia House of Representatives, where he subsequently served five…

(RBRL220ROGP-060)

Harold Lloyd Murphy was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1950 and served until 1961. He also served as an assistant state solicitor general of the Tallapoosa Judicial Circuit in 1956. From 1971 to 1977, he served as a superior court…

(RBRL220ROGP-061)

Shirley Carver Miller is the wife of former Georgia Governor and U.S. Senator Zell Miller. Her platform as first lady was adult literacy, and she campaigned to increase the number of people passing General Education Development tests. Miller…

(RBRL220ROGP-062)

William Wyche Fowler was elected to the Atlanta city council in 1975, and eventually became president of the council. Upon Andrew Young’s resignation, Fowler won a special election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1977. He served on the Ways…

(RBRL220ROGP-063)

Millard Grimes worked as an editor for The Red and Black, and graduated from UGA with a degree in journalism in 1951. He returned to the Columbus Ledger as associate news editor, and in 1955 the newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize for documenting…

(RBRL220ROGP-064)

Carlton Colwell he ran a successful campaign for the Georgia House of Representatives in 1964. He represented several North Georgia mountain counties for thirty years. Colwell served on various committees, including Appropriations, Ways and Means,…

(RBRL220ROGP-065)

James Francis “Jim” Martin drafted legislation as part of the legislative council before joining Legal Aid, an organization representing low income families. In 1983, he ran for office, and was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives as a…

(RBRL220ROGP-066)

Eric J. Tanenblatt graduated from Emory University with a degree in economics. He immediately started as a campaign worker for George H.W. Bush, organizing college campuses. There, he met and worked with Senator Paul Coverdell. When Bush was elected…

(RBRL220ROGP-067)

George Hooks was elected as a Democrat to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1980. Under Governor Joe Frank Harris, he served as the assistant administration floor leader. He served five terms in the house, and was elected to the Georgia State…

(RBRL220ROGP-068)

Glenn Anthony reported for the United Press International, covering various civil rights groups in Alabama and Tennessee. He entered politics when he went to work for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, lobbying for business interests. He was involved…

(RBRL220ROGP-069)

Marie Dobbs Barnes married Roy Barnes in 1970. In 1974, Roy ran a successful campaign for the Georgia State Senate; Marie was active in this and subsequent campaigns, while also raising their three children. Marie became an active advocate for early…

(RBRL220ROGP-070)

Harold G. Clarke was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1960. In the legislature, he authored several bills and plans, including Abolish Atlanta and the Clarke Plan. In 1966, he participated in the legislative initiative…

(RBRL220ROGP-071)

George J. Berry went to work in the finance department of the city of Atlanta in 1962. Berry was chosen to be the deputy chief administrative officer in Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen's administration. Mayor Sam Massell promoted him to chief administrative…

(RBRL220ROGP-072)

Edward H. Johnson went to work for Zell Miller’s campaign for lieutenant governor in 1974. Upon Miller’s election, Johnson was appointed as counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee. In 1977, Johnson was elected as a Democrat to the Georgia State…

(RBRL220ROGP-073)

DuBose Porter ran a successful campaign as a Democrat for the Georgia House of Representatives, in 1982. In 1987, Porter and Griffin Lovett bought Dublin’s daily newspaper, The Courier Herald. Porter oversees the business and publishing aspect of the…

(RBRL220ROGP-074)

George T. Smith joined the U.S. Navy in 1940 and after two years was placed on the Naval Land Force Equipment Depot. He left the military in 1945 and returned home. In 1948, he graduated from the University of Georgia Law School and went into private…

(RBRL220ROGP-075)

Fletcher Thompson was elected as a Republican to the Georgia General Assembly as a state senator in 1964. In 1966, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He served in the two succeeding congresses, but was unsuccessful in a bid for…

(RBRL220ROGP-076)

Aubrey R. Morris was born in 1922 in Roswell, Georgia, and grew up writing for the local newspaper. In this interview, Morris discusses his long journalism career, including his days as a journalism student at the University of Georgia, his work at…

(RBRL220ROGP-077)

Lewis Massey helped Joe Frank Harris campaign for governor. In 1990, he went to work with Pierre Howard’s campaign for lieutenant governor. Howard was elected, and Massey was appointed Chief of Staff. In 1994, he successfully managed Howard's…

(RBRL220ROGP-078)

Charles Campbell met Senator Richard B. Russell when he introduced him for a Blue Key speech at UGA. He went to work as Russell’s legislative assistant in Washington, D.C., and eventually became his executive secretary. Upon Senator Russell’s death…

(RBRL220ROGP-079)

Joseph Maxwell Cleland first became interested in politics during his Washington Semester Program. In 1965, he was asked by Senator Richard B. Russell to become a congressional intern. Cleland then joined the U.S. Army and served in Vietnam. He was…

(RBRL220ROGP-080)

Robert A. “Bob” Holmes was invited to teach as a professor in the political science department of Clark Atlanta University in 1971. Holmes became active in a variety of political issues and campaigns. In 1974, he was elected to the Georgia House of…

(RBRL220ROGP-081)

Steve W. Wrigley worked as a senior policy analyst for the Georgia State Senate in 1987 and advised Senator Zell Miller on the Mountain Protection Act. When Miller was elected lieutenant governor, Wrigley served as his executive assistant. From 1993…

(RBRL220ROGP-082)

William J. “Bill” Lee was elected as a Democrat to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1956. He continued to serve for forty-two years, making his the longest uninterrupted tenure in the house by any representative until tying with Tom Murphy in…

(RBRL220ROGP-083)

James Roy Rowland attended South Georgia College and earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia. In 1952, he received his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia. He practiced medicine in Dublin, Georgia, from 1952 to…

(RBRL220ROGP-084)

Bobby Kahn, a Democratic political activist from Savannah, Georgia, is the former chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia. Kahn was elected chairman in 2004; his term expired in 2007. He previously served as chief of staff under former Governor…

(RBRL220ROGP-085)

Tyrone L. Brooks was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1980. He has sat on numerous committees, including Economic Development and Tourism, Governmental Affairs and Retirement, and Appropriations. Brooks has served as…

(RBRL220ROGP-086)

Lonnie King was born in Arlington, Georgia. He was raised in Atlanta and served in the U.S. Navy. He left the Navy in 1957, returned to Atlanta, and earned his degree from Morehouse College. In 1960 he was present at the founding of the Student…

(RBRL220ROGP-087)

Thomas Houck dropped out of high school at age 15 and joined the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to work under Hosea Williams. In 1965, he met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at a meeting of the SCLC, and in 1966 he came to Atlanta and became…

(RBRL220ROGP-088)

Willie Bolden was born in Sumter, South Carolina on December 7, 1938. and was raised in Savannah, Georgia. He is best known for his work as a civil rights activist. In this interview, Bolden discusses his activity with the Southern Christian…

(RBRL220ROGP-089)

Matthew Towery was an unofficial page for Governor Lester Maddox, and continued in an official capacity during Maddox’s term as lieutenant governor. He became a speech writer in Mattingly’s successful run for senate in 1980. In 1989 with the…

(RBRL220ROGP-090)

Pierre Howard was elected to the Georgia Senate as a Democrat in 1972. He continued to be reelected until 1988. In 1974, Governor George Busbee appointed him assistant floor leader of the senate, a position he held for eight years. Howard proposed…

(RBRL220ROGP-091)

Charles C. “Chuck” Clay worked as assistant solicitor in Marietta. He went on to become district attorney, and then, in 1986, commissioner, for Cobb County. In 1988, Clay was elected to the Georgia State Senate as a Republican. After his election,…

(RBRL220ROGP-092)

McCracken Poston gained his first political experience as a law student campaigning for Buddy Darden’s run for Congress. In 1988 he ran a successful campaign for the Georgia House of Representatives, where he stayed until 1996. He then made a bid for…

(RBRL220ROGP-093)

Harry Donival Dixon entered U.S. Maritime Service and served in World War II in 1943. In 1963, he was elected as a Democrat to the Georgia House of Representatives. He served as chairman of the Regulated Beverages committee for 27 years, and rewrote…

(RBRL220ROGP-094)

Ford B. Spinks was born in Tifton, Georgia on April 5, 1927. In 1962, he ran a successful campaign twice – due to reapportionment – for Georgia State Senate. He continued in the Georgia Senate, and served in many committees until leaving the senate…

(RBRL220ROGP-095)

Powell A. Moore began his career in politics in 1966, when Senator Richard B. Russell appointed him as his press secretary. After Russell’s death, Moore went to work in the Justice Department as deputy director of Public Information under President…

(RBRL220ROGP-096)

Henry M. “Hank” Huckaby worked as an assistant dean of admissions at Georgia State for four years. In 1973, he went to work under Governor Jimmy Carter’s administration in the Office of Planning and Budget, serving in subsequent years as director of…

(RBRL220ROGP-097)

Charles C. “Chuck” Clay worked as assistant solicitor in Marietta. He went on to become district attorney, and then, in 1986, commissioner, for Cobb County. In 1988, Clay was elected to the Georgia State Senate as a Republican. After his election,…

(RBRL220ROGP-098)

Stephanie Stuckey Benfield was born in Eastman, Georgia, on December 25, 1965. The daughter of Congressman Bill Stuckey, Benfield grew up in Washington, D.C. While building her own practice, Stuckey and Manheimer, she worked as legislative aide and…

(RBRL220ROGP-099)

Mary Margaret Oliver served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1987-1992, and the Georgia Senate from 1993-1998. When Oliver was elected to the senate, she was appointed to chair the Judiciary Committee during her freshman term, and was the…

(RBRL220ROGP-100)

Peter Louis Banks worked as a congressional intern for U.S. Representative John James Flynt, Jr., from Georgia during law school. After graduating from law school, he worked as an attorney for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. He was elected to the…

(RBRL220ROGP-101)

W. Daniel Ebersole moved to Atlanta in 1974 to work as a volunteer aide to Atlanta city council member Charles Helms. He worked on Zell Miller’s campaigns for lieutenant governor and U.S. Senate against Senator Herman Talmadge in 1980. From 1980-1990…

(RBRL220ROGP-102)

Richard Pettys attended the University of Georgia, where he worked on the student newspaper the Red and Black. In 1965 he began working for three newspapers in Gwinnett County that would soon become the Gwinnett Daily News. In 1969 he joined the…

(RBRL220ROGP-103)

Reid Walker Harris was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1964 and served for six years. During this time he worked on achieving the independence of the legislature, and was the principal author of several laws concerning conservation…

(RBRL220ROGP-104)

John Reginald "Reg" Murphy attended Mercer University in Macon, and worked for the Macon Telegraph. In 1955 he opened the Atlanta bureau of the Macon Telegraph. He was chosen to be a Neiman Fellow at Harvard in 1959, and in 1961 went to work for the…

(RBRL220ROGP-105)

Cynthia Diane Wright served as a research associate with the University of Georgia Carl Vinson Institute of Government. She also served as corporate counsel to the Georgia Housing and Finance Authority and was assistant legal counsel to Governor…

(RBRL220ROGP-106)

Cathey Weiss Steinberg served in the Georgia General Assembly for sixteen years in both the Georgia House of Representatives (1977-1989) and in the Georgia Senate (1991-1993). She is recognized as a strong advocate for women’s rights. She was the…

(RBRL220ROGP-107)

Betty Vandiver helped her husband Ernest Vandiver run a successful campaign for lieutenant governor in 1954 and in 1958, when Ernest Vandiver was elected governor of Georgia. As first lady, Betty Vandiver was instrumental in setting up…

(RBRL220ROGP-108)

Jane Brevard Vandiver Kidd was involved in politics early, serving as chair of Youth for Herman Talmadge in Talmadge’s 1968 Senate campaign, and campaigning for her father during his 1972 U.S. Senate campaign. She graduated from the University of…

(RBRL220ROGP-109)

Milton Jones served in the United States Army Reserves from 1954-1962, retiring as a Sergeant 1st class. A Democrat, he was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1963 and served until 1970. In 1974, Governor Jimmy Carter appointed him to…

(RBRL220ROGP-110)

Thomas Bryant Buck, III, was first elected to the Georgia General Assembly in 1966. He served for thirty-eight years in the Georgia House of Representatives, one of the longest tenures of any lawmaker in the state's history. He became a committee…

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Senator Carol Jackson, a Democrat from Cleveland, was elected to the state Senate from Georgia's 50th District in 1998. Lieutenant Governor Taylor has appointed Senator Jackson to serve as vice chair of the Corrections, Correctional Institutions, and…

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Bill Burson served as an aide to Senator Herman Talmadge and later to Governor Carl Sanders. In 1967, the newly elected governor, Lester Maddox, appointed Burson Director of the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services. Over the next three…

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Wayne Garner served in the Georgia State Senate from 1980 until 1993. Garner chaired the Senate Committee on Corrections for approximately ten years. He was later named majority leader of the Senate and, ultimately, President Pro Tempore. In April of…

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Jack Etheridge served as a law clerk for a State Superior Court Judge and Federal District Court Judge. He became an associate with Smith, Kilpatrick, Cody, Rogers & McClatchy (now Kilpatrick & Stockton) and later spent ten years as partner with…

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Bob Cohn began his career as a news writer and photojournalist after graduating from the University of Alabama. He has worked on Olympic and event marketing for many years and has served as a chairman of the National Parade and March Oversight…

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Kathy Blee Ashe was first elected to the Georgia General Assembly House of Representatives in June of 1991. As a member of the Georgia House of Representatives for House District 56, Ashe served on the Education, Children and Youth, Higher Education,…

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Geisinger's political involvement has included membership on the National Legislative Conference on Campaigning Financing and Ethics. He was the first advisor to the National Legislative Leaders Conference and was honored as an outstanding leader…

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Robert J. Shaw was born on August 21, 1929, in Bronwood, Georgia. He attended Georgia Tech and Georgia State before enlisting in the Air Force in 1950. Shaw has served as the Chariman of the Development Authority of Fulton County as well as being an…

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Mary W. Beazley was bonh on November 8, 1929 in Athens, Georgia. She attended the Georgia State College for Women and the University of Georgia. Beazley worked as a staffer for Gov. Vandiver, Lt. Gov. Geer, Gov. Maddox, Gov. Carter, Lt. Gov Miller,…

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James L. Paulk, known as Jimmy, was born March 26, 1949, in Fitzgerald, Georgia. He received a Bachelor's of Business Administration in Management from the University of Georgia in 1972. At the age of 26, Paulk defeated Senator Martin Young, then the…

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Rusty Paul grew up in the Birmingham, Alabama area during the 1950s and 60s. He has worked in journalism as a newspaper and radio reporter, chaired the Republican Party in Georgia, and served as a state senator in the Georgia General Assembly. In…

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Ron Fennel has served in various political positions over his 33-year career, including two terms as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives, representing his hometown of Brunswick (1988-1992). While a member of the Legislature, he…

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Don Johnson was elected to the State Senate from the 47th District in 1987 to fill the unexpired term of the late Senator Parks Brown. Johnson, a Democrat, served on the Judiciary, Reapportionment, Agriculture, Transportation, Finance, Public…

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William H. Jordan, Jr., served as executive secretary on the staff of Senator Richard B. Russell, Jr. from 1955 to 1968. In April 1968, he resigned to work for the Senate Appropriations Committee and was a member of the committee staff until circa…

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Senator Nan Orrock was elected by Atlanta voters to the Georgia Senate in 2006, after serving ten terms in the House of Representatives, where she was the first woman elected as House majority whip. She also served as the Governor’s Floor Leader, a…

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T. Rogers Wade was chairman of Herman E. Talmadge's 1980 re-election campaign, as well as a former administrative assistant and chief political fundraiser for the senator in Washington, D.C. Upon returning to Georgia, he was named vice president of…

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Tom Baxter was a reporter, editor of the Sunday Perspective section, national editor, and chief political correspondent for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has written about politics in the South since 1987, joining InsiderAdvantage in 2007 to…

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Karen Handel served as Secretary of State of Georgia from 2007 to 2010, when she resigned to run for governor of Georgia, a bid which was ultimately unsuccessful. In this interview she discusses her upbringing, public service career, and political…

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Ralph Reed is founder and chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition. He was senior advisor to the Bush-Cheney campaigns in both 2000 and 2004, and chairman of the Southeast Region for BC04. As chairman of the Georgia Republican Party he led the GOP…

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David Morrison is a political journalist that covered Georgia politics for the Atlanta Constitution during the 1970s. He discusses his work in journalism, his experiences with prominent politicians, and the state of party politics in Georgia.

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Abit Massey was born on November 14, 1927, in Hall County, Georgia. Abit Massey is a past Chairman of the Board of the American Society of Association Executives and the Center for Association Leadership and past President of the Georgia Society of…

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Laughlin McDonald has been director of the Atlanta-based Voting Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union since 1972. Prior to that he was in private practice and taught at the University of North Carolina Law School. He has represented…

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Julian Bond was a civil rights activist who held leadership roles in several organizations, including the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored…

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Senator Bill Stephens, a Republican from Canton, was elected to the State Senate in 1998 to represent the 51st Senate District. He discusses his work with Gov. Zell Miller, his time in the State Senate, and the state of party politics in Georgia.

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This interview is currently closed to researchers.

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Roy D. Moultrie was born in Hamilton, Georgia, on April 2, 1932. He attended West Georgia College and obtained his J.D. from Mercer University. Moultrie served as a probate judge in Harris County, Georgia, before running for state representative for…

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Robert Lindsay Thomas is a U.S. Representative from Georgia. He was elected as a Democrat to the Ninety-eighth and to the four succeeding Congresses (1983-1993). Thomas discusses his involvement with agriculture, his experience in Washington, D.C.…

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Douglas Clark Teper attended Georgia State University both for his bachelor's degree and law school. He was elected to the Georgia State House of Representatives in 1988 and served through 2005. He served on the Industry, Judiciary, and Rules…

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John Lewis is best known for his civil rights activism in the 1960s and, since 1986, his work as a U.S. Representative. In this interview John Lewis discusses his early years in rural Alabama and his work as a civil rights leader and U.S.…

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Eva Galambos has served as mayor of Sandy Springs since 2005. She is a retired economist specializing in urban finance and labor economics. She has also served as an arbitrator resolving disputes between labor and management. Galambos has been deeply…

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Martha (Marti) Plemmons Fullerton was born on January 13, 1942, in Murphy, N.C. She attending Young Harris College and Florida State University. Fullerton held various positions in the Bowdoin Commission from 1963 to 1999. She also served on the…

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Sadie Fields is best known for her work for the Christian Coalition in Georgia. In this interview, Fields discusses her early years growing up in south Georgia and the formation of her interest in politics. She describes her experience working for…

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Margaret Holliman is a conservative Georgian who has been active in many political campaigns and organizations. She worked on the campaigns of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. Holliman has also attended several Republican National Conventions and…

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Billy Lovett is a former Laurens County Comissioner, member of the State Public Service Commission, candidate for Governor, and businessmen in Atlanta. Lovett discusses his work in the Public Service Commissioner, his campaign for Governor, and the…

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Bill Hardman discusses his career as the director of tourism for the state of Georgia from 1959 to the early 1970s, including his office's attempts to improve Georgia's reputation among out-of-state travelers and to lure vacationers headed to Florida…

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William “Bill” Shipp worked as a journalist in Georgia for fifty years. In this interview at his home in Acworth, Georgia, Shipp discusses the range of modern Georgia politics, with a particular emphasis on Georgia governors since 1946. Topics…

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George Berry discusses the political career of James Carmichael, including his early life, his involvement with Rickenbacker Field and the Bell Aircraft Corporation in Marietta, his work with Governor Ellis Arnall, and the 1946 governor's race…

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Ray Moore (b. 1922) was an Atlanta TV newsman for twenty-three years. In 1951, he joined WSB Radio and then WSB-TV the following year. Moore resigned as news director of WSB, in 1969, and joined WAGA-TV (Channel 5) until he retired from broadcasting…

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For the past 15 years, Dick Yarbrough has gained a large following with his syndicated newspaper column which reaches some 600,000 households and more than 1.3 million readers each week throughout Georgia. In March, 2013, Gov. Nathan Deal named Dick…

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Casey Cagle was elected to the Georgia State Senate in 1994 at the age of twenty-eight. He served in the Senate for 12 years before being elected Lieutenant Governor of Georgia in 2006. In this election, Cagle defeated Ralph Reed, a prominent…

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Frank Albert was elected to the Georgia Senate in 1964. He served as a Republican Senator for eight years, working closely with such politicians as Governor Zell B. Miller, Senator Culver Kidd, and Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives Tom…

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Andrew Young is a politician, businessman, and activist. Over his career, he has worked as a pastor, was involved in the Civil Rights Movement, served as a U.S. Representative and UN Ambassador, and as mayor of Atlanta. In this interview, he…

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Garland Pinholster grew up in Clyatville, Georgia in a farming family. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia, served at Fort Benning during the Korean War, coached college sports at Oglethorpe University, and was elected to…

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Johnny Isakson was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and has served in politics since his election to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1976. Since then, he has served in the Georgia Senate and both houses of Congress, and has run a successful real…

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Ray Holland is an attorney who served in the Georgia House from 1989-2003. In this interview Holland discusses his education at the University of Georgia and his introduction to politics through the YMCA Youth Assembly. He discusses his early…

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Jay Beck was born in Albany, Georgia, and was a close friend of Hamilton Jordan. Beck served on Carter’s staff during his presidency, and later worked as financial consultant for the Carter Center. Beck discusses Hamilton’s Jordan’s role as campaign…

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Phil Wise served as a member of the White House staff of President Jimmy Carter. In this interview, he briefly talks about his childhood, his early relationship with Carter, and his increased involvement in Carter’s administrations, first in managing…

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Sam Doss was elected to the Georgia State Senate as a Democrat in 1968. In the legislature, he served on the Higher Education and Appropriations Committees. He was responsible for advocating for the legislation that led to the establishment of the…

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Charles Graves worked in the news industry, as a local reporter and then as the press secretary for U.S. Congressman George Davis. He also served as a Georgia State Representative and then Executive Director of the Georgia Democratic Party. In this…

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Stacey Abrams served as State Representative for Georgia’s 89th House District and was selected to the role of House Minority Leader for the Georgia General Assembly. In this interview, she discusses her early life, education, and career, including…

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Frank Moore worked in Jimmy Carter’s gubernatorial and presidential administrations. In this interview he discusses his specific roles as Deputy Chief of Staff to Hamilton Jordan, national finance chairman of Carter’s campaign, and congressional…

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Stacey Abrams served as State Representative for Georgia’s 89th House District and was selected to the role of House Minority Leader for the Georgia General Assembly. In this interview, she discusses issues facing Georgia, including the public…

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