October 20

Lewis Grizzard

October 20, 1946 - Fort Benning, Moreland, Atlanta

He would tell Yankee immigrants who found fault with the South: “Delta is ready when you are.”

Lewis Grizzard was born in Fort Benning and grew up in Moreland.  He studied journalism at the University of Georgia.

After quickly realizing he didn’t belong in Chicago, Grizzard returned to Atlanta to write a humorous regional column for the Atlanta Constitution. It was syndicated in more than 400 newspapers. His self-deprecating humor chronicled his hard drinking, his heart ailment, and his bad luck with wedlock.

Grizzard celebrated all things Southern, from UGA football to the unique Southern pronunciation of “nekkid.” In one story called “There ain’t no Toilet Paper in Russia,” he described Peter the Great’s palace as “Fifteen Times Bigger than Opryland.” His books reflected a conservative Southern ambivalence toward modern society, with titles like Elvis is Dead and I Don’t Feel So Good Myself.  

Grizzard died of heart failure in 1994, but the Lewis Grizzard Museum in Moreland continues to celebrate the legacy of the man once called the “Patron Saint of the New Suburban South,” born on October 20, 1946, Today in Georgia History.