His name became a synonym for the New South.
Henry Grady was born in 1850 in Athens. After graduating from the University of Georgia, Grady published an editorial in 1874 in the Atlanta Daily Herald entitled “The New South.”
It caught the eye of the owners of the Atlanta Constitution and they offered him part ownership of the Constitution and the position of managing editor. Grady had found his calling.
The crusading editor championed Northern investment, Southern industrial growth, diversified farming and white supremacy — all of which were central to his vision of the New South.
He led the Atlanta Ring, a group of pro-industrial urban Democrats who promoted Atlanta’s economic development through reconciliation with the North.
Through Grady’s efforts Georgia Tech was established, and Atlanta hosted three different Cotton Expositions that attracted millions in investment dollars and new jobs.
Two years after Grady’s untimely death in 1889, 25,000 Atlantans turned out for the unveiling of a bronze statue of the man called the spokesman of the New South, dedicated in front of City Hall on October 21, 1891, Today In Georgia History.