September 21

Clark Howell

September 21, 1863 - Atlanta

The man who helped Henry Grady promote Atlanta as the heart of the “New South” was born in South Carolina. 

Georgia newspaper editor Clark Howell was the son of a former Confederate artillery captain. His father bought a half–interest in the Atlanta Constitution in 1876 and hired Henry Grady and Joel Chandler Harris to work there.  Clark Howell joined those two legends at the paper after graduating from the University of Georgia.  After Grady's death, Howell continued promoting Atlanta and went into politics as well. 

In 1906, Howell lost a bitter campaign for governor against former Atlanta Journal owner Hoke Smith, who advocated disenfranchising black voters. The racial tensions unleashed by the campaign helped trigger the Atlanta Race Riot that year. 

Howell became owner of the Constitution in 1901, hired crusading editor Ralph McGill in 1929, and won a Pulitzer Prize in 1931.

The man who left an indelible mark on Atlanta journalism was born in South Carolina on September 21, 1863, Today in Georgia History.