Maynard Jackson, Jr.
Some say the third time’s a charm. That was certainly true for Maynard Jackson, Atlanta’s first black mayor. He served three successful terms. When Jackson was first elected in 1973, he was the first African-American to serve as mayor of a major southern city… and he was only 35.
But being young and accomplished was nothing new to Jackson. He was just 18 when he got his B. A. from Morehouse College and in his mid 20s when he received his law degree.
While mayor, Jackson championed affirmative action, dramatically increasing the number of local minority businesses getting city contracts. Jackson’s crowning achievement was building a major new terminal at Atlanta’s airport … ahead of schedule and under budget. The airport now bears his name.
When Jackson died of a heart attack in 2003, He laid in state at city hall and at Morehouse College.
The memorial service at the Atlanta Civic Center drew more than 5,000 mourners.