Individual Development and Identity

April 21, 1836

Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar

A Louisville, Georgia native would become president of the Republic of Texas. Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar was born in 1798 and led a colorful life, to put it mildly. Lamar opened a store in Alabama; it failed, so he moved back and became secretary to Governor George Troup. He married, started a family, then moved to […]

April 22, 1872

Henrietta Dozier

She was the first female architect in Georgia and the first woman in the South to receive formal architectural training. Henrietta Dozier was born in Fernandina, Florida, in 1872, and moved to Atlanta when she was 2 years old. Dozier studied Beaux-Arts classicism at the Pratt Institute in New York. At 27, she earned her […]

April 13, 1854

Lucy Craft Laney

To be African-American and born during slavery didn’t necessarily mean you were a slave. Lucy Craft Laney was born in 1854, but her father had purchased freedom for him and his wife. For Laney, freedom meant education. Able to read and write by age four and translate Latin by 12, she joined the first class […]

April 9, 1907

Peyton Anderson

Peyton Anderson was born in 1907 in Macon with newspaper ink in his veins. His uncle edited and published the Macon Telegraph and later the Macon News; his father was vice president of the company; another uncle was a columnist. Anderson began working at the paper at age 9 sweeping floors. After earning a Bronze […]

March 25, 1925

Flannery O’Connor

She was one of Georgia’s most famous literary figures. Mary Flannery O’Connor was born in Savannah in 1925 and graduated from Georgia State College for Women. Then it was on to the University of Iowa, home to the famous Writers’ Workshop, where she rubbed elbows with some of America’s leading writers. Moving to New York, […]

March 29, 1937

Billy Carter

“Yes, I’m a real southern boy,” he told reporters. “I’ve got a red neck, white socks, and drink Blue Ribbon beer.” Billy Carter was born in Plains in 1937. After their father’s death, Billy resented his older brother Jimmy returning home to run the family business and joined the Marines instead. Billy ran the business […]

March 14, 1921

Truett Cathy

While $3.5 billion in sales a year, is not, as the saying has it, chicken feed, Truett Cathy’s family-owned corporation feeds a lot of people a lot of chicken. Born in Atlanta in 1921, Cathy came up during the Great Depression. With a deep spirituality and a determined work ethic, he opened the Dwarf Grill, […]

March 17, 1869

Corra Harris

Before Margaret Mitchell, before Flannery O’Connor, Georgia produced a female author who was just as famous in her day. Corra Harris was born in Elbert County in 1869. Her writing career began out of economic necessity because of her minister husband’s alcoholism and depression. Harris wrote a letter to a New York magazine defending the […]

February 27, 1930

Joanne Woodward

She gave the performance of a lifetime in just her third film—and won an Oscar at 27. Joanne Woodward was born in Thomasville and grew up there and in Marietta. She loved movies, and in 1939 she and her mother attended the Atlanta premiere of Gone with the Wind. Woodward went to Louisiana State University […]

February 26, 1926

Tiger Flowers

He took a Bible with him into the ring. Dubbed the “Georgia Deacon,” he was the first black boxer to be middleweight champion of the world. Theodore “Tiger” Flowers was born in Camilla in 1895 and started boxing at 18. Flowers was the first black boxer after Jack Johnson to fight for a world title, […]