McGill, Ralph, 1898-1969


Ralph McGill, as editor and publisher of the Atlanta Constitution, was a leading voice for racial and ethnic tolerance in the South from the 1940s through the 1960s. As an influential daily columnist, he broke the code of silence on the subject of segregation, chastising a generation of demagogues, timid journalists, and ministers who feared change. When the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed segregated schools in 1954 and southern demagogues led defiance of the court, segregationists vilified McGill as a traitor to his region for urging white southerners to accept the end of segregation. In 1959, at the age of sixty-one, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. ("Ralph McGill (1898-1969)," New Georgia Encyclopedia. Retrieved March 11, 2008:

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