Fraternal Wins

Two years ago, my colleague Rob Gurwitt wrote a feature about Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin's remarkable ability to forge alliances among disparate interests and factions, ...
by | June 29, 2006

Shirleyfranklin Two years ago, my colleague Rob Gurwitt wrote a feature about Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin's remarkable ability to forge alliances among disparate interests and factions, a skill that had enabled the city to raise $3 billion to overhaul its decrepit sewer system.

In the past two weeks, Franklin proved that she hasn't lost her political or personal touch, pulling together another improbable coalition to purchase the papers of native son Martin Luther King Jr., which were scheduled to be auctioned by Sotheby's.

In 11 days of intense negotiations, Franklin and her team cobbled together $32 million in pledges and loan guarantees from individual and corporate donors and lined up Morehouse College to be the legal custodian of the documents.

King's son Dexter told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution , "We didn't know that Atlanta was that serious until Mayor Franklin reached out."

It wasn't the first time, and it surely won't be the last.

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Anne Jordan  |  Former Editor
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