Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 059 Thurbert BakerReflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 059 Thurbert Baker

Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 059 Thurbert Baker

Descriptive Summary

Title: Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 059 Thurbert Baker
Creator Baker, Thurbert E., 1952-
Dates 2008 December 8
Extent 1.0 interview
Repository Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
AbstractThurbert Baker worked in Fulton County in the public defender’s office. He then worked as a lawyer for the Environmental Protection Agency. In 1989, he ran his first campaign for the Georgia House of Representatives, where he subsequently served five terms. He served in the House Judiciary Committee and was Governor Zell Miller’s House floor leader. As floor leader, he helped to pass the state-wide lottery for the HOPE Scholarship. In 1997, Governor Miller appointed him attorney general. He was reelected three times. Baker recalls his early interest in law, his education at UNC-Chapel Hill and Emory, and his time as Attorney General. He also discusses difficult cases he has seen, legislation he has been involved with, and party politics in Georgia.

Administrative Information

Custodial History note

Reflections on Georgia Politics began in the fall of 2006 at Young Harris College, as a lecture and discussion program hosted by Georgia political veteran Bob Short. In late 2007, the Richard B. Russell Library began producing the program as an oral history video series to further illuminate and personalize the tectonic shifts that occurred in Georgia politics in the late twentieth century.

Preferred citation

Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 059, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.


Restrictions

Copyright Information

Resources may be used under the guidelines described by the U.S. Copyright Office in Section 107, Title 17, United States Code (Fair use). Parties interested in production or commercial use of the resources should contact the Russell Library for a fee schedule..


Biographical Note

Thurbert Baker was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, in 1952. He graduated with a degree in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and in 1974 he earned his law degree from Emory University. Upon graduation, he worked in Fulton County in the public defender’s office. He then worked as a lawyer for the Environmental Protection Agency. In 1989, he ran his first campaign for the Georgia House of Representatives, where he subsequently served five terms. He served in the House Judiciary Committee and was Governor Zell Miller’s House floor leader. As floor leader, he helped to pass the state-wide lottery for the HOPE Scholarship. In 1997, Governor Miller appointed him attorney general. He was reelected three times. In that position, he worked to create stronger laws against sexual predators on the Internet and perpetrators of identity theft. In 2009, he announced his plan to run in the 2010 gubernatorial race. Baker was ultimately defeated in the Democratic primary by former governor Roy Barnes.


Scope and Content

Baker discusses his childhood in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. He recalls his firsthand experience with the integration of the Rocky Mount community and discusses his time at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, including the discovery of his fencing skills.

Baker discusses his time at Emory University Law School, including meeting Maynard Jackson and working on a project managing the real estate holdings of Atlanta. He also talks about working at the Fulton County Public Defender's office and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Baker discusses his time as a public servant, including his motivation to run for public office, his campaign for the state House of Representatives in 1988, and being asked by Zell Miller to be an administration floor leader. He discusses legislation related to the lottery, crime bills, and the closing DUI loopholes. Baker also discusses his appointment to the position of Attorney General. Baker discusses issues he has faced as Attorney General such as identity theft, predatory online presences, and real estate scams.


Related Collections in this Repository

Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection


Access Points

Attorneys General--United States--Georgia.
Emory University.
Environmental policy--Georgia.
Georgia's HOPE Scholarship Program.
Georgia--General Assembly--House of Representatives.
Georgia--Governors.
Jackson, Maynard, 1938-2003
Lawyers--Georgia.
Lotteries--Georgia.
Lottery proceeds.
Miller, Zell Bryan, 1932-
Oral histories.
School integration--Southern States.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

 
ROGP 059 Thurbert Baker video ( 77.0 minutes ) VIEW ONLINE
 
ROGP 059 Thurbert Baker transcript VIEW ONLINE