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Georgia Biography -- Political Figures

  • Ivan Allen, Jr. (1911-2003)
    Two-term Atlanta mayor who guided early racial integration, oversaw the planning and construction of major transportation infrastructure, and brought professional sports to the city.
  • Ellis Arnall (1907-1992)
    Arnall was an energetic, progressive governor whose four years in office witnessed significant reform as well as fiscal efficiency.
  • Logan E. Bleckley (1827-1907)
    One of Georgia's most distinguished jurists, Judge Bleckley served as chief justice of the state supreme court for almost ten years and is the namesake of Bleckley County.
  • Archibald Bulloch (1730-1777)
    Early leader of Georgia's revolutionary Liberal Party, first president and commander-in-chief of Georgia, and great-great-grandfather to 26th president Theodore Roosevelt.
  • Julian Bond (b. 1940)
    Bond, a founding member and former communications director of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), is currently chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
  • Joseph E. Brown (1821-1894)
    Brown was governor of Georgia from 1857 until the end of the Civil War in 1865; he also served ten years in U.S. Senate between 1880 and 1890.
  • Jimmy Carter (b. 1924)
    Plains native James Earl Carter, Jr. was the 39th President of the United States. Prior to attaining that office, Carter served as a state legislator and as governor of Georgia. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.
  • Rosalynn Carter (b.1927)
    As first lady, Rosalynn Carter led the President's Commission on Mental Health. Since then she has continued to act as an advocate for improved mental health care, among other humanitarian causes.
  • Elijah Clarke (1742-1799)
    Clarke County is named for this revolutionary war hero, militia general, and state legislator.
  • Howell Cobb (1815-1868)
    Cobb was speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, governor of Georgia, and secretary of the treasury before 1861. During the Civil War he was a legislative leader and major general of the army.
  • Samuel Elbert (1740-1788)
    Elbert commanded the Georgia militia during the Revolutionary War; he was elected to the Continental Congress and also served one term as governor of Georgia.
  • Rebecca Latimer Felton (1835-1930)
    The first woman to serve in the U.S. Senate, Felton was a vocal advocate for prohibition, prison reform, vocational education, and woman suffrage.
  • John B. Gordon (1832-1904)
    John B. Gordon was a celebrated Confederate officer, and later a politician who served in the U.S. Senate and a prominent leader of Confederate veteran's organizations.
  • Henry W. Grady (1850-1889)
    Managing editor of the Atlanta Constitution during the 1880s, Grady was best known as an industrial and investment booster for the "New South" of the post-Civil War period.
  • Button Gwinnett (1735-1777)
    A signer of the Declaration of Independence, Gwinnett served in the Continental Congress and as president and commander-in-chief of Georgia. He met his death in a duel with political rival Lachlan McIntosh.
  • Lyman Hall (1724-1790)
    Hall was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, represented Georgia in the Continental Congress, and served as governor of the state.
  • William B. Hartsfield (1890-1971)
    This six-term mayor of Atlanta promoted aviation, oversaw the construction of the city's expressway system, and pushed through an annexation program that tripled the size of the city.
  • John Houstoun (ca. 1747-1796)
    Houstoun was first mayor of Savannah, a Georgia governor, a representative in the Continental Congress, and a Georgia militia commander.
  • Wilson Lumpkin (1783-1870)
    His posts included U.S. Congressman, Georgia governor, U.S. Senator. As U.S. commissioner to the Cherokee Indians during 1836-37, Lumpkin was responsible for their expulsion from north Georgia.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)
    King was an Atlanta native and the most prominent and respected civil rights leader of the 1950s and 60s.
  • John Lewis (b. 1940)
    Lewis was chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and was present for many of the seminal civil rights events of the 1960s; he now represents Georgia in the U.S. Congress.
  • Lester Maddox (1915-2003)
    The controversial Maddox came to prominence as a segregationist Atlanta businessman and parlayed his notoriety into a term as Georgia governor.
  • Helen Douglas Mankin (1894-1956)
    Mankin was an Atlanta native, a lawyer, and the first woman to represent Georgia in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Lachlan McIntosh (1727-1806)
    McIntosh was a high ranking officer in the Georgia militia and the Continental Army and a delegate to the Continental Congress.
  • James Edward Oglethorpe (1696-1785)
    Oglethorpe was a military aide and member of the English Parliament before founding the colony of Georgia in 1732.
  • Major Ridge (ca. 1771-1839)
    Ridge was a soldier, farmer, and leader of the Cherokee nation. He signed the treaty authorizing their removal from Georgia, and was later assassinated by political rivals for his role in those proceedings.
  • Richard B. Russell (1897-1971)
    Widely recognized as one of the most powerful U.S. senators of his time, Russell's noted presidential aspirations were hindered by his staunch support of segregation.
  • Eugene Talmadge (1884-1946)
    Talmadge was a divisive, albeit relatively successful three-term governor who relied on a strong base of rural support.
  • Herman Talmadge (1913-2002)
    The son of Eugene Talmadge also served as Georgia governor; Herman Talmadge also served more than twenty years in the U.S. Senate.
  • Clarence Thomas (b. 1948)
    Clarence Thomas has been an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court since 1991. Thomas is a native of Pin Point, a small community located south of Savannah, Georgia.
  • Tomochichi (ca. 1644-1739)
    Tomochichi was chief of the Yamacraw Indians; his friendship and aid to James Oglethorpe was invaluable in establishing the colony and state of Georgia.
  • John Adam Treutlen (1733-1782)
    Georgia's first elected governor, Treutlen was a native of southern Germany who came to Georgia as an indentured servant. He helped write Georgia's state constitution.
  • Carl Vinson (1883-1981)
    Vinson served an unprecedented twenty five consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives; much of his time there was spent strengthening the armed forces, specifically the navy, as chair of the Naval Affairs Committee and the House Armed Services Committee.
  • George Walton (ca. 1749-1804)
    A Georgia signer of the Declaration of Independence, Walton also served as governor, state superior court justice, and U.S. Senator.
  • Tom Watson (1856-1922)
    A populist politician who rose to prominence through the Farmer's Alliance, Watson served in the U.S. House and Senate; he was also a writer and magazine publisher.