Individual Development and Identity

November 11, 1908

Bobby Dodd

He was one of only three people inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach. Robert Lee “Bobby” Dodd was a four-sport star at the University of Tennessee and was an All-American tailback playing football for legendary coach Robert Neyland. After graduation, Dodd took a job as assistant […]

November 3, 1992

Cynthia McKinney

She was the first African-American woman elected to Congress from Georgia. Cynthia McKinney was born in Atlanta to Billy McKinney, one of Atlanta’s first African-American police officers and a longtime member of the state legislature. Her father was known for his fiery spirit, and his daughter was no different. In 1988, Cynthia followed her father […]

November 5, 2002

Sonny Perdue

He was the first Republican governor elected in Georgia in more than 130 years, but George “Sonny” Perdue III began his political life as a Democrat. Perdue was a baby boomer, born in 1946 in Perry, Georgia. He played quarterback at Warner Robins High School and was a walk-on at the University of Georgia, where […]

November 6, 1998

Newt Gingrich

He was the author of the Republican revolution of 1994—and one of the most powerful and polarizing leaders in Georgia history. Newton Leroy Gingrich was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in 1943. With his father stationed at Fort Benning, Gingrich graduated from Baker High School in Columbus. He earned a history degree from Emory and a […]

November 7, 1972

Andrew Young

If there was a Mt. Rushmore for civil rights icons, Andrew Young would be on it. But his achievements go well beyond civil rights: Young has served as congressman, United Nations ambassador and mayor of Atlanta. Andrew Jackson Young Jr. was born in New Orleans in 1932. He became involved in the civil rights movement […]

November 8, 1900

Margaret Mitchell

She just wanted to be known as Mrs. John Marsh. Margaret Mitchell was her maiden name. Born in Atlanta in 1900, she lived away from the city only once, for a year, at Smith College. Her grandfather fought in the Civil War; her mother’s family was Irish Catholic, like the O’Hara’s of Tara. Mitchell went […]

November 9, 1886

John B. Gordon

War can make or break a man. The Civil War made John Brown Gordon. Born in Upson County in 1832, he was managing his father’s coalmines in northwest Georgia when the war began. Although he lacked any military experience, Gordon was elected captain of the Raccoon Roughs, a company of mountain men, and he rose […]

October 22, 2001

Howard Finster

Howard Finster saw things; he literally had visions. They inspired him to create a universe of unusual paintings, sculptures, and drawings. A self-taught folk artist and preacher, he became one of the most important creative artists of the twentieth century. Finster was born in 1916 in Valley Head, Alabama, one of 14 children. He saw […]

October 24, 1962

James Brown

He was born in a one-room shack in Barnwell, South Carolina, in 1933. He moved to Augusta, Georgia when he was five. His mother abandoned him, he grew up in abject poverty and he was sent to jail for petty theft at 15. But James Brown overcame it all to become one of the most […]

October 25, 1760

George II

Our state still bears his name, but King George II never set foot here. He was born in Germany and when he succeeded his father, George I, in 1727, he became the second of Britain’s Hanoverian German kings. George II signed the charter creating the colony of Georgia in 1732. James Oglethorpe persuaded the king […]