|Title:||Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 063 Millard Grimes|
|Creator||Grimes, Millard, 1930-|
|Dates||2009 January 7|
|Repository||Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies|
|Abstract||Millard Grimes worked as an editor for The Red and Black, and graduated from UGA with a degree in journalism in 1951. He returned to the Columbus Ledger as associate news editor, and in 1955 the newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize for documenting corruption in Phenix City, Alabama. He then served as publishing chief executive officer at numerous newspapers, including the Opelika-Auburn News and the Rockdale Citizen. In 1991, he entered magazine publishing when he purchased the Georgia Journal and Georgia Trend. Grimes discusses his life as a journalist and editor, recalling his experiences working with various newspapers, the Columbus Ledger's investigation which led to a Pulitzer Prize, and the state of newspapers and reporting in a modern world.|
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.
Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 063, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.
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.
Millard Grimes was born in Newnan, Georgia, on March 8, 1930. He grew up in LaGrange and Columbus. In high school, he worked at the Columbus Ledger first as a copy boy, then as a proofreader and sports writer. At the University of Georgia, he worked as an editor for The Red and Black, and graduated from UGA with a degree in journalism in 1951. He returned to the Columbus Ledger as associate news editor, and in 1955 the newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize for documenting corruption in Phenix City, Alabama. He then served as publishing chief executive officer at numerous newspapers, including the Opelika-Auburn News and the Rockdale Citizen. In 1991, he entered magazine publishing when he purchased the Georgia Journal and Georgia Trend. In 1999, he sold Georgia Trend, and funded the Millard B. Grimes Laboratory for Excellence in Print Journalism at the University of Georgia. Additionally, he has served on Franklin D. Roosevelt Warm Springs Memorial advisory board.
Millard Grimes discusses his childhood in Newnan and LaGrange and working for the Columbus Ledger as a teenager. Grimes recall his work with The Red and Black and Pandora at the University of Georgia. He elaborates on his coworkers at The Red and Black and how his work there prepared him for work in the newspaper industry.
Grimes discusses winning the Pulitzer Prize for an investigation into corruption in Phenix City with the Columbus Ledger. He elaborates on the circumstances of the investigation and his decision to begin a daily newspaper in Phenix City. Grimes discusses his later acquisition of the Opelika Daily News and how he expanded its circulation.
Grimes recalls his return to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer and the series of events that led him to become the editor. He discusses his book The Last Linotype: The Story of Georgia and its Newspapers since World War II.
Grimes recalls outstanding journalists he worked, including Wade Saye, Lewis Grizzard, Ray Jenkins, Grover Hall, Jim Bane, Jim Bellows, Rheta Grimsley Johnson, and Bob Fowler. He also elaborates on what makes a good newspaper and whether newspaper editorials shape public opinion. He specifically mentions influential editorials from Ralph McGill and Carl Sanders.
Grimes discusses the administrations of Governors Sanders and Vandiver, the 1966 gubernatorial election, and the demise of the county unit system. He also discusses the importance of investigative reporting and the tension between segregationist publishers and African-American readers. Grimes discusses his interest in the history of Warm Springs and President Roosevelt and party politics in Georgia. He also recalls the magazines he was involved with, Georgia Trend and the Georgia Journal.