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Famous People Born in Augusta, GA
Jim Dent
Pete Drake
Jasper Johns
Oliver Hardy
Blind Willie McTell
Vaughn Taylor
William Few
Jimmie Dyess
James Brown
George Walton
Lucy Craft Laney
Hulk Hogan
Amy Grant
Jessye Norman
Woodrow Wilson
Laurence Fishburne
George Washington
Bobby Jones

Jim Dent

Jim Dent

''Jim Dent'' (born May 9, 1939) is an American professional golfer.  He was born in the golf mecca of Augusta, Georgia, home of the Masters Tournament, though as an African American he wouldn't have been allowed onto the Augusta National course at the time, except as a caddie. He caddied both at Augusta National and at Augusta Country Club as a boy.  Doyle turned pro in 1966. During his regular (under 50) career he was Florida PGA Champion three times. However he is mainly notable for his success on the Senior PGA Tour, where he won eleven tournaments between 1989 and 1998.

“Currently a top player on the Senior PGA Tour,” Jim Dent has won more than $6 million in his professional golfing career. Mr. Dent surpassed the $5 million mark in earnings on the Senior Tour in 1997.  Mr. Dent has 12 Senior PGA victories including the Home Depot Invitational in 1998.


Pete Drake 

Roddis Franklin "Pete" Drake was a record producer, record company founder, and musician whose steel-guitar playing was heard on hundreds of hit recordings. One of the most sought-after backup musicians of the 1960s, he played on such gigantic chart toppers as Lynn Anderson's "Rose Garden," Charlie Rich's "Behind Closed Doors," Bob Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay," and Tammy Wynette's "Stand by Your Man." Drake played on thirty-eight of forty-eight BMI (Broadcast Music, Incorporated) award-winning recordings in 1966 alone. He also played his steel guitar on five of Elvis Presley's movie soundtracks.

Drake was born in Augusta on October 8, 1932, the son of a Pentecostal preacher. His brothers, Jack and Bill, performed as the Drake Brothers. Jack was a bass player for Grand Ole Opry star Ernest Tubb's band, the Texas Troubadours, for twenty-four years.

At age eighteen Drake drove to Nashville, Tennessee, heard steel guitarist Jerry Byrd on the Grand Ole Opry, and was inspired to buy a steel guitar in an Atlanta pawnshop. He organized a band, Sons of the South, in Atlanta in the 1950s; it included future country stars Jerry Reed, Doug Kershaw, Roger Miller, Jack Greene, and Joe South.

In 1959 Drake moved to Nashville at the suggestion of Kathleen Jackson, owner of Atlanta's popular Egyptian Ballroom nightclub. He went on the road as a backup musician for Don Gibson, Marty Robbins, and Carl and Pearl Butler. The first hit single he played on was Roy Drusky's "(I Don't Believe You Love Me) Anymore" in 1960. In 1964 Drake had an international hit on Smash Records with his "talking steel guitar" playing "Forever." He made the talking sound by speaking into a mouth device he had created that was connected to the steel guitar.

Drake had a productive association with folk singers Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. He played on Dylan's three historic Nashville-recorded albums, including Nashville Skyline, and on Baez's David's Album.

After Drake met George Harrison of the Beatles at Bob Dylan's New York home, Harrison invited him to England to work on All Things Must Pass. In turn, Harrison persuaded fellow Beatle Ringo Starr to come to Nashville to produce his Beaucoups of Blues album with Drake in 1970. This marked the first time a member of the Beatles had recorded in the United States.

Drake produced albums for many other music stars, including B. J. Thomas, the Four Freshmen, and Leon Russell. He founded Stop Records and First Generation Records. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame's Walkway of Stars in 1970 and the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in 1987. He died in Nashville, Tennessee, on July 29, 1988.

Jasper Johns

Jasper Johns

In the late 1950’s, Jasper Johns emerged as force in the American art scene. His richly worked paintings of maps, flags, and targets led the artistic community away from Abstract Expressionism toward a new emphasis on the concrete. Johns laid the groundwork for both Pop Art and Minimalism. Today, as his prints and paintings set record prices at auction, the meanings of his paintings, his imagery, and his changing style continue to be subjects of controversy.

Born and raised in Allendale, South Carolina, Jasper Johns grew up wanting to be an artist. “In the place where I was a child, there were no artists and there was no art, so I really didn’t know what that meant,” recounts Johns. “I think I thought it meant that I would be in a situation different from the one that I was in.” He studied briefly at the University of South Carolina before moving to New York in the early fifties.

In New York, Johns met a number of other artists including the composer John Cage, the choreographer Merce Cunningham, and the painter Robert Rauschenberg. While working together creating window displays for Tiffany’s, Johns and Raushenberg explored the New York art scene. After a visit to Philadelphia to see Marcel Duchamp’s painting, The Large Glass (1915-23), Johns became very interested in his work. Duchamp had revolutionized the art world with his “readymades” — a series of found objects presented as finished works of art. This irreverence for the fixed attitudes toward what could be considered art was a substantial influence on Johns. Some time later, with Merce Cunningham, he created a performance based on the piece, entitled “Walkaround Time.”

The modern art community was searching for new ideas to succeed the pure emotionality of the Abstract Expressionists. Johns’ paintings of targets, maps, invited both the wrath and praise of critics. Johns’ early work combined a serious concern for the craft of painting with an everyday, almost absurd, subject matter. The meaning of the painting could be found in the painting process itself. It was a new experience for gallery goers to find paintings solely of such things as flags and numbers. The simplicity and familiarity of the subject matter piqued viewer interest in both Johns’ motivation and his process. Johns explains, “There may or may not be an idea, and the meaning may just be that the painting exists.” One of the great influences on Johns was the writings of Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. In Wittgenstein’s work Johns recognized both a concern for logic, and a desire to investigate the times when logic breaks down. It was through painting that Johns found his own process for trying to understand logic.

In 1958, gallery owner Leo Castelli visited Rauschenberg’s studio and saw Johns’ work for the first time. Castelli was so impressed with the 28-year-old painter’s ability and inventiveness that he offered him a show on the spot. At that first exhibition, the Museum of Modern Art purchased three pieces, making it clear that at Johns was to become a major force in the art world. Thirty years later, his paintings sold for more than any living artist in history.

Johns’ concern for process led him to printmaking. Often he would make counterpart prints to his paintings. He explains, “My experience of life is that it’s very fragmented; certain kinds of things happen, and in another place, a different kind of thing occurs. I would like my work to have some vivid indication of those differences.” For Johns, printmaking was a medium that encouraged experimentation through the ease with which it allowed for repeat endeavors. His innovations in screen printing, lithography, and etching have revolutionized the field.

In the 60s, while continuing his work with flags, numbers, targets, and maps, Johns began to introduce some of his early sculptural ideas into painting. While some of his early sculpture had used everyday objects such as paint brushes, beer cans, and light bulbs, these later works would incorporate them in collage. Collaboration was an important part in advancing Johns’ own art, and he worked regularly with a number of artists including Robert Morris, Andy Warhol, and Bruce Naumann. In 1967, he met the poet Frank O’Hara and illustrated his book, In Memory of My Feelings.

In the seventies Johns met the writer Samuel Beckett and created a set of prints to accompany his text, Fizzles. These prints responded to the overwhelming and dense language of Beckett with a series of obscured and overlapping words. This work represented the beginnings of the more monotone work that Johns would do through out the seventies. By the 80s, Johns’ work had changed again. Having once claimed to be unconcerned with emotions, Johns’ later work shows a strong interest in painting autobiographically. For many, this more sentimental work seemed a betrayal of his earlier direction.

Over the past fifty years Johns has created a body of rich and complex work. His rigorous attention to the themes of popular imagery and abstraction has set the standards for American art. Constantly challenging the technical possibilities of printmaking, painting and sculpture, Johns laid the groundwork for a wide range of experimental artists. Today, he remains at the forefront of American art, with work represented in nearly every major museum collection.

Oliver Hardy 

Oliver HardyOliver Hardy was a successful character actor in silent films and a partner in the Academy Award–winning comedy team of Laurel and Hardy. Born and raised in Georgia, Hardy performed in theater and vaudeville shows around the state early in his career, which laid the foundation for his later success as a film comedian.


Oliver Hardy was born Norvell Hardy on January 18, 1892, in Harlem, Georgia, a town located just west of Augusta.  His father, Oliver Hardy, died ten months later, and his mother, Emily Norvell Hardy, supported her five children by managing a series of boardinghouses, first in Madison, then in Covington and Athens, and finally in Milledgeville.

While quite young, Hardy developed a love for singing. He performed in local theatricals and, as a college student, in events at Georgia Military College and Young Harris College.

Returning to Milledgeville in 1910, Hardy worked behind the scenes at a local vaudeville house and a movie theater. At some point during this period he adopted the name Oliver Norvell Hardy, although his friends often referred to him as "Babe." In 1913 he began working in the flourishing film in Jacksonville, Florida, occasionally traveling to New York to work on films there. In 1917, after acting in many short and feature films, he decided to pursue his career in California.


In Hollywood, as in Florida, Hardy worked steadily, specializing in the portrayal of a conventional character in silent films known as the "heavy,"

a large, physically intimidating villain. (Over six feet tall, Hardy weighed around 300 pounds for most of his adult life.)

In 1926, after appearing in some ninety Hollywood films, Hardy became a contract player for both comic and serious roles with Hal Roach Studios, one of the more important small studios of the era. The studio soon cast Hardy in several films with Stanley Laurel (1890-1965), with whom Hardy had occasionally worked before. Born Arthur Stanley Jefferson, Laurel was an English music-hall comedian who had come to America in a theatrical company as an understudy to Charlie Chaplin. At the time he was teamed with Hardy, Laurel was an up-and-coming film comedian, writer, and director.

The Laurel and Hardy Films

Together Laurel and Hardy were so appealing that the studio launched a new series of short comedies advertised as "Laurel and Hardy" films. The first, The Second Hundred Years, appeared in 1927.

In their subsequent films Laurel and Hardy gradually developed the characters they would play for the rest of their lives.

As childlike adults destined to fail but ever hopeful of success, these characters fall within a "tradition of innocent fools in a dangerous world" that includes, according to film scholar Ted Sennett, the characters played by fellow silent comedians Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harry Langdon. The duo's usual costumes were slightly seedy, old-fashioned suits with stand-up collars and derbies, suggesting characters who aspire to a dignity that they can never quite achieve. Hardy adopted the role of the self-assured but utterly incompetent leader, whose grandiose gestures gave exaggerated importance to the simplest acts.

Oliver HardyAccording to critic Gerald Mast, a "contempt for affectation and pretension" is a hallmark of the work of American comedians from Chaplin to Woody Allen. Many critics consider Laurel and Hardy, along with Chaplin, Keaton, and the Marx Brothers, to be among the finest practitioners of slapstick, a type of physical comedy aimed at mocking such aspirations to dignity. With precise comic timing, Laurel and Hardy typically engaged in what biographer John McCabe terms "reciprocal destruction," a sequence of physical gags in which the characters take revenge upon each other. The gags ultimately build to a chaotic ending that exposes and ridicules the foibles of human nature. Filmmakers of the 1960s employed similar techniques during a resurgence of slapstick comedy that resulted in such films as It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963) and The Great Race (1965).

From 1927 to 1940 Laurel and Hardy made sixty short comedies and sixteen feature films for Hal Roach Studios, including Big Business (1929), which is often cited as one of the finest short comedies of the silent era, and The Music Box, which won an Academy Award as the best short film of 1931-32. Outstanding among their feature films for Roach Studios are Sons of the Desert (1933) and Way Out West (1937). While some silent-film actors, like Keaton, saw their careers decline with the advent of sound, Laurel and Hardy's flourished, as Laurel's English accent and Hardy's southern accent and singing brought new dimensions to their characters. The team also proved skillful in their melding of visual and verbal humor, adding dialogue that served to enhance rather than replace their popular sight gags.

Because of creative disagreements with Hal Roach Studios, in 1941 the team left for Twentieth Century Fox and MGM. Although Laurel and Hardy believed their talents ideally suited to short films, these larger studios were losing interest in that less-profitable medium and cast the team in a series of modestly budgeted and poorly written features. Moreover, the studios did not allow the duo to engage in the improvisation that had been so vital to the success of their earlier work and insisted instead that the scripts be strictly followed. Discouraged once again, in 1945 Laurel and Hardy retired from films, returning only for the poorly receivedAtoll K in 1951.

Laurel and Oliver Hardy

Final Years

In 1947 Laurel and Hardy began a year of concert appearances in Europe and toured again in 1952 and 1953-54. Hardy also took a supporting role in George Waggner's film The Fighting Kentuckian (1949) and made a cameo appearance in Frank Capra's Riding High (1950).

Plans for a television series were shelved as the aging comedians suffered declining health. After a series of strokes, Hardy died on August 7, 1957. Laurel retired and lived until 1965, surviving to see the duo's best work rediscovered by appreciative audiences through television and classic film revivals. A few months after Laurel's death, the inaugural meeting of the Sons of the Desert, the official Laurel and Hardy appreciation society, was held in New York City. Since that time, chapters of the organization have formed across North America and Europe, as well as in Australia.

Continuing Appeal

Today Laurel and Hardy remain among the most popular of Hollywood's early comedians. Critics have identified the enduring influence of Laurel and Hardy in the work of later comedians, from the antics of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewisin the 1950s, to Eddie Murphy's Hardy-like portrayal of Sherman Klump in the Nutty Professor (1996). Many Laurel and Hardy films—short subjects and features—are available on videotape and DVD, while the compact discs Songs and Sketches from the Hal Roach Films (2001) and Trail of the Lonesome Pine(2001) preserve examples of Hardy's singing.

The town of Harlem maintains a Laurel and Hardy Museum. (Another museum is operated in Laurel's birthplace, Ulverston, in the Lake District of England.) Harlem recognizes its native son on the first Saturday of every October with its Oliver Hardy Festival

Laurel and Hardy Museum.

Blind Willie McTell 

Blind Willie McTell"Blind Willie" McTell was one of the great blues musicians of the 1920s and 1930s. Displaying an extraordinary range on the twelve-string guitar, this Atlanta-based musician recorded more than 120 titles during fourteen recording sessions. His voice was soft and expressive, and his musical tastes were influenced by southern blues, ragtime, gospel, hillbilly, and popular music.

At a time when most blues musicians were poorly educated and rarely traveled, McTell was an exception. He could read and write music in Braille. He traveled often from Atlanta to New York City, frequently alone. As a person faced with a physical disability and social inequities, he expressed in his music a strong confidence in dealing

 with the everyday world.

McTell was born in Thomson on May 5, 1898. Few facts are known about his early life. Even his name is uncertain: his family name was either McTear or McTier, and his first name may have been Willie, Samuel, or Eddie. His tombstone reads "Eddie McTier." He was blind either from birth or from early childhood, and he attended schools for the blind in Georgia, New York, and Michigan.

While in his early teens, McTell learned to play the guitar from his mother, relatives, and neighbors in Statesboro, where his family had moved. In his teenage years, after his mother's death, he left home and toured in carnivals and medicine shows. In the 1920s and 1930s, McTell traveled a circuit between Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah, and Macon. This region encompasses two major blues styles: Eastern Seaboard/Piedmont, with lighter, bouncier rhythms and a ragtime influence; and Deep South, with its greater emphasis on intense rhythms and short, repeated music phrases.

McTell also journeyed from Georgia to New York City. Along the way he entertained wherever he could find an audience: passenger train cars, hotel lobbies, college fraternity parties, school assemblies, proms, vaudeville theaters, and churches. As he followed the tobacco market from Georgia into North Carolina, he played for farmers, buyers, and merchants at warehouses, auctions, livery stables, and hotels.

By the mid-1920s McTell was already an accomplished musician in Atlanta, playing at house parties and fish fries. He had also traded in the standard six-string acoustic guitar for a twelve-string guitar, which was popular among Atlanta musicians because of the extra volume it provided for playing on city streets.

By 1926 record companies had begun to take an interest in recording folk blues artists, mostly men playing solo with guitars—Blind Lemon Jefferson from Texas, Charley Patton and Tommy Johnson from Mississippi, Peg Leg Howell and Blind Willie McTell from Georgia. Beginning with his first recording in 1927 for Victor Records and his 1928 recording session for Columbia, McTell produced such blues classics as "Statesboro Blues" (later made famous by the Allman Brothers Band and Taj Mahal), "Mama 'Tain't Long 'for' Day," and "Georgia Rag." In 1929 he recorded "Broke Down Engine Blues."

Like other musicians at the time, he recorded on different labels under various nicknames to skirt contractual agreements. Thus he was Blind Willie for Vocalion, Georgia Bill for OKeh, Red Hot Willie Glaze for Bluebird, Blind Sammie for Columbia, Barrel House Sammy for Atlantic, and Pig 'n' Whistle Red for Regal Records. The latter name came from a popular drive-in barbeque restaurant in Atlanta where he played for tips.

In the early 1930s McTell frequently played with Blind Lemon Jefferson throughout the South. He married Ruth Kate Williams, with whom he recorded some duets, in 1934.

In 1940 folk-song collector John Lomax recorded the versatile musician for the Archive of Folk Culture of the Library of Congress. These sessions, which have been issued in full, feature interviews as well as a variety of music.

McTell was the only bluesman to remain active in Atlanta until well after World War II (1941-45). With his longtime associate Curley Weaver, he played for tips on Atlanta's Decatur Street, a popular hangout for local blues musicians. His last recording was made in 1956 for an Atlanta record-store owner and released on the Prestige/Bluesville label. Afterward he played exclusively religious music. From 1957 to his death he was active as a preacher at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Atlanta. He died from a cerebral hemorrhage on August 19, 1959, at the Milledgeville State Hospital.

In 1981 Blind Willie McTell was inducted into the Blues Foundation's Blues Hall of Fame. Two years later, folksinger Bob Dylan paid homage to McTell in his song "Blind Willie McTell": "And I know no one can sing the blues / Like Blind Willie McTell." In 1990 McTell was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. Each year, the city of Thomson hosts the Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival in honor of their hometown legend.

Vaughn Taylor

Vaughn TaylorVaughn Joseph Taylor (born March 9, 1976) is an American golfer who turned professional in 1999.

Taylor was born in Roanoke, Virginia but was raised in Augusta, Georgia from infancy. He played golf for Augusta State University where he was an honorable mention All-American his senior season. He continues to reside in the Augusta area close to his parents. Taylor carefully played his early years on the Hooters and Nationwide Tours, getting valuable experience before playing his first full year with a PGA card in 2004. He has won twice on the PGA Tour, with his first victory coming in 2004 at the Reno-Tahoe Open, he would successfully defend his Reno-Tahoe Open crown for his second career win in 2005. He played on the 2006 Ryder Cup team. He has featured in the top 40 of the Official World Golf Rankings.

William Few 

William FewPatriot, legislator, pioneer, and financier, William Few Jr. was born in Maryland in 1748, to Mary Wheeler and William Few Sr.

For some years the family lived in North Carolina, where Few's brother James was hanged for his part in the Regulator Insurrection, an uprising against what many citizens viewed as unfair taxation practices by royal government. Embroiled in political difficulties in North Carolina, the family moved to upper Richmond County, Georgia, in the mid-1770s. During the American Revolution, Few fought in the Battle of Burke County Jail, served in the state legislative sessions, and took part in the 1777 constitutional convention. In 1780 he was elected to the Continental Congress. In the decade following the war, he, more than anyone, lobbied for the upper part ofRichmond County to become a new county, a dream realized when Columbia County was created in 1790.

In 1786 Few was appointed to Congress by the state legislature; the next year he represented Georgia in the constitutional convention in Philadelphia that drafted the U.S. Constitution. His signature is on that document, along with that of Abraham Baldwin. He later served four years as a U.S. senator, one term as a state representative, and three years as judge of the Second Judicial District in Georgia. He was an outspoken opponent of the infamous Yazoo land fraud, though his political enemies tried to implicate him in this scam.

In 1799 he moved to New York City, where he served as a member of the New York legislature for four years. He became an officer in the Manhattan Bank and president of City Bank. He and his wife, Catherine Nicholson, had three daughters. Few died on July 16, 1828. During the nation's Bicentennial in 1976, his remains were moved from New York to St. Paul's Cemetery in Augusta.

Jimmie Dyess 

Jimmie DyessLieutenant Colonel Aquilla James Dyess (January 11, 1909 – February 2, 1944) was a Unived States Marine Corps officer who was a posthumous recipient of the Medal of Honor for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life" at the head of his troops during World War II in the Battle of Kwajalein, on Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands on February 2, 1944.

He was born on January 11, 1909 in Andersonville, Georgia.  As a youth, he attained the rank of Eagle Scout, highest in the Boy Scouts. Dyess is one of only seven known Eagle Scouts who also received the Medal of Honor. The others are Robert Edward Femoyer, Eugene B. Fluckey, Mitchell Paige, Benjamin L. Salomon, Leo K. Thorsness, and Jay Zeamer, Jr..  He is also the only American to receive both the Carnegie Medal for civilian heroism and the Medal of Honor. In 1929, he was awarded the Carnegie Medal for saving two swimmers off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina in 1928.

Dyess graduated from Clemson College, Clemson, South Carolina, in 1932 with a Bachelor of Science degree in architecture. At Clemson, he served as a cadet major in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps, and was appointed a second lieutenant in the Army Infantry Reserve in 1931.

In civilian life, he was a general contractor. He also served as assistant director of a summer camp for boys.

Dyess was appointed a first lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserve in November 1936. In 1937, 1stLt Dyess was awarded the Bronze Star as a shooting member of the Marine Corps Rifle Team which won the Hilton trophy in the National matches, and was given the same award in 1938 as an alternate member of the team that captured the Rattlesnake trophy in the matches.

Lieutenant Colonel Dyess was killed on February 2, 1944 by a burst of enemy machine gun fire while standing on the parapet of an anti-tank trench directing a group of infantry in a flanking attack against the last Japanese position in the northern part of Namur Island. In this final assault, LtCol Dyess posted himself between the opposing lines and, exposed to fire from heavy automatic weapons, led his troops in the advance. Wherever the attack was slowed by heavier enemy fire, he quickly appeared and placed himself at the head of his men and inspired them to push forward.

Lieutenant Colonel Dyess was initially buried in the 4th Marine Division Cemetery on Roi-Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands. Later, in 1948, he was re-interred in Westover Memorial Park Cemetery, Augusta, Georgia.[3]

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to Lieutenant Colonel Aquilla J. Dyess United States Marine Corps Reserve as set forth in the following CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Commanding Officer of the First Battalion, Twenty-Fourth Marines, Reinforced, Fourth Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces during the assault on Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, February 1, and 2, 1944. Undaunted by severe fire from automatic Japanese weapons, Lieutenant Colonel Dyess launched a powerful final attack on the second day of the assault, unhesitatingly posting himself between the opposing lines to point out objectives and avenues of approach and personally leading the advancing troops. Alert, and determined to quicken the pace of the offensive against increased enemy fire, he was constantly at the head of advance units, inspiring his men to push forward until the Japanese had been driven back to a small center of resistance and victory assured. While standing on the parapet of an antitank trench directing a group of infantry in a flanking attack against the last enemy position, Lieutenant Colonel Dyess was killed by a burst of enemy machine-gun fire. His daring and forceful leadership and his valiant fighting spirit in the face of terrific opposition were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Lieutenant Colonel Aquilla James Dyess (January 11, 1909 – February 2, 1944) was a United States Marine Corps officer who was a posthumous recipient of the Medal of Honor for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life" at the head of his troops during World War II in the Battle of Kwajalein, onNamur IslandKwajalein AtollMarshall Islands on February 2, 1944.

He was born on January 11, 1909 in Andersonville, Georgia. As a youth, he attained the rank of Eagle Scout, highest in the Boy Scouts.[1] Dyess is one of only seven known Eagle Scouts who also received theMedal of Honor. The others are Robert Edward FemoyerEugene B. FluckeyMitchell PaigeBenjamin L. SalomonLeo K. Thorsness, and Jay Zeamer, Jr.. He is also the only American to receive both the Carnegie Medal for civilian heroism and the Medal of Honor. In 1929, he was awarded the Carnegie Medal for saving two swimmers off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina in 1928.[2]

Dyess graduated from Clemson CollegeClemson, South Carolina, in 1932 with a Bachelor of Science degree in architecture. At Clemson, he served as a cadet major in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps, and was appointed a second lieutenant in the Army Infantry Reserve in 1931.

In civilian life, he was a general contractor. He also served as assistant director of a summer camp for boys.

Dyess was appointed a first lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserve in November 1936. In 1937, 1stLt Dyess was awarded the Bronze Star as a shooting member of the Marine Corps Rifle Team which won the Hilton trophy in the National matches, and was given the same award in 1938 as an alternate member of the team that captured the Rattlesnake trophy in the matches.

Lieutenant Colonel Dyess was killed on February 2, 1944 by a burst of enemy machine gun fire while standing on the parapet of an anti-tank trench directing a group of infantry in a flanking attack against the last Japanese position in the northern part of Namur Island. In this final assault, LtCol Dyess posted himself between the opposing lines and, exposed to fire from heavy automatic weapons, led his troops in the advance. Wherever the attack was slowed by heavier enemy fire, he quickly appeared and placed himself at the head of his men and inspired them to push forward.

Lieutenant Colonel Dyess was initially buried in the 4th Marine Division Cemetery on Roi-Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands. Later, in 1948, he was re-interred in Westover Memorial Park Cemetery, Augusta, Georgia.[3]

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to Lieutenant Colonel Aquilla J. Dyess United States Marine Corps Reserve as set forth in the following CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Commanding Officer of the First Battalion, Twenty-Fourth Marines, Reinforced, Fourth Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces during the assault on Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, February 1, and 2, 1944. Undaunted by severe fire from automatic Japanese weapons, Lieutenant Colonel Dyess launched a powerful final attack on the second day of the assault, unhesitatingly posting himself between the opposing lines to point out objectives and avenues of approach and personally leading the advancing troops. Alert, and determined to quicken the pace of the offensive against increased enemy fire, he was constantly at the head of advance units, inspiring his men to push forward until the Japanese had been driven back to a small center of resistance and victory assured. While standing on the parapet of an antitank trench directing a group of infantry in a flanking attack against the last enemy position, Lieutenant Colonel Dyess was killed by a burst of enemy machine-gun fire. His daring and forceful leadership and his valiant fighting spirit in the face of terrific opposition were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

James Brown

James Brown"Soul Brother Number One," James Brown was perhaps the best known and clearly the most successful black artist of the '60s and early '70s; his polyrhythmic funk vamps virtually reshaped dance music. With some 800 songs in his repertoire, the astonishingly prolific James Brown has influenced a wide range of contemporary artists from every genre &Number 8212; rock, soul, jazz, R&B, and hip-hop. And his adamant refusal to conform to anyone's vision other than his own bolstered his icon status.

Brown was born into poverty in the rural South around the time of the Depression (some records give his birth date as 1928; he claims it is 1933). As a child, he picked cotton, shined shoes, danced for pennies in the streets of Augusta, Georgia, and stole. Convicted of armed robbery at age 16, he spent three years in a juvenile detention institution. While incarcerated, Brown made the acquaintance of Bobby Byrd, who performed with his family gospel group at the institution. Byrd's family eventually helped obtain Brown's release by taking the youngster in and getting him a job. Brown tried semi-professional sports, first as a boxer, then as a baseball pitcher, but a leg injury ruined his chances of going pro. In the meantime, Byrd and Brown had put together a gospel group, which performed under a succession of different names at the Mount Zion Baptist Church, in Toccoa, Georgia, and at auditoriums in the area. Byrd and Brown sang duets, with three or four other members singing background vocals and harmonies. After seeing a rock & roll show featuring Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, Fats Domino, and others, Brown and Byrd left gospel music behind, transforming the group (Johnny Terry, Sylvester Keels, and Floyd Scott) into the Flames. Each Flame sang, danced, and played an instrument or two &Number 8212; Brown's were piano and drums. Byrd also played keyboards and shared vocals; he would remain Brown's sideman off and on during the next three-plus decades.

From a base in Macon, Georgia, the Flames had been touring the South for two years when Ralph Bass, head of Federal Records, signed them in 1956. Their first single, "Please, Please, Please," a big hit in Georgia and adjacent states, eventually sold a million copies. Subsequent releases in the same gospel-influenced yet distinctly rougher R&B style made Brown a regional star until "Try Me" became a national hit in 1958, charting Number One in R&B, Number 48 in pop.

By this time, Brown had become the de facto leader of the group, now called the Famous Flames. Guided by Universal Attractions director Ben Bart, Brown created the James Brown Revue, complete with opening acts, his own emcee, and a stage band &Number 8212; the James Brown Band. The show was precisely choreographed, with Brown pumping his hips, twisting on one foot, and doing splits as the troupe executed their own intricate steps. Night after night, he would feign collapse and be helped from the stage, only to stop, throw off the cape, and start all over again. Despite its predictability, the gimmick never lost its power to bring fans to their feet. Sweating off a purported seven pounds a night, and breaking box-office records in every major black venue in America, Brown earned the nickname "Mr. Dynamite" and the title "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business."
James Brown

As Brown's band became one of the tightest in the field, Brown wanted to showcase them on his recordings. Federal, however, refused to let him use them in the studio, so he arranged for the band to record for another company as Nat Kendrick and the Swans. The resulting instrumental hit, "Mashed Potatoes," persuaded Federal's parent company, King, to take over Brown's contract and to sign up the James Brown Band both for Brown's sessions and as a separate act. From then on, Brown concentrated on pared-down, jump-and-shout dance music ("Think," "Night Train"). If a new song made the concert crowd dance, he would record it that night, often in one take. 

Simultaneously, Brown was sending such raw, emotive R&B ballads as "Bewildered" (Number Eight R&B, Number 40 pop, 1961), "I Don't Mind" (Number Four R&B, Number 47 pop, 1961), and "Lost Someone" (Number Two R&B, Number 48 pop, 1961) up the charts. Brown's Live at the Apollo, recorded in Harlem in 1962 and patterned after Ray Charles' live In Person, sold a million copies, unprecedented for a black music album. In 1963, frustrated by King's failure to reach into the white market, Brown and Bart formed Fair Deal Productions. "Out of Sight," which Fair Deal released through Smash Records, hit Number One R&B, Number 24 pop. 

Brown's revised contract with King in 1965 gave him complete artistic control. He revamped his band under the leadership of Nat Jones, and with his "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," became a world-class force in popular music. Disposing of the conventional verse and chorus structure, eliminating even chord progressions, he distilled his sound to its essence: rhythm and, more specifically, "the 1." "Brand New Bag" topped the R&B chart, as did "I Got You (I Feel Good)" and "It's a Man's, Man's, Man's World." After Alfred "Pee Wee" Ellis replaced Jones as bandleader, Brown continued to score with "Cold Sweat," "I Got the Feelin'," "Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud," "Give It Up or Turn It A-Loose," and "Mother Popcorn" &Number 8212; which were all Top 20 (many of them Top 10) pop hits. Concurrently, he recorded instrumental albums (a total of 11 between 1961 and 1971) that never attained great commercial success but, featuring his organ and piano work, continued his rhythmic explorations (tracks from the best of these can be found on the 1993 anthology, Soul Pride).

The late '60s found James Brown a cultural hero, "Soul Brother Number One." As a black man of wealth, independence, and influence, he was a symbol of self-determination and triumph over racism. He took that responsibility seriously. Songs such as "Say It Loud," "Don't Be a Drop-Out," and "I Don't Want Nobody to Give Me Nothing (Open Up the Door I'll Get It Myself)" contained direct social messages. He sponsored programs for ghetto youth, spoke at high schools, invested in black businesses, performed for troops in Vietnam, and went on television after the April 4, 1968, assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. to plead for calm &Number 8212; a service for which he was ceremoniously thanked by Vice President Hubert Humphrey. In Boston, where he was scheduled to perform after rioting had broken out in several cities, city authorities feared violence. Brown's decision to televise the concert live locally was credited with helping to maintain the peace. 

In late 1969 Brown faced the mutiny of his celebrated '60s band, which included saxophonist Maceo Parker and trombonist Fred Wesley. Brown enlisted hot young instrumentalists who, with his nurturing, continued to develop the sound that would be called funk. The youngbloods, who as the new band were dubbed the JBs, included brothers William "Bootsy" and Phelps "Catfish" Collins, whose distinctive bass and lead guitar playing, respectively, ushered in a new sound in soul music. The Collinses left after a year, later joining George Clinton's Parliament/Funkadelic organization [see entry]. Key '60s band members saxophonist St. Clair Pinckney and guitarist Jimmy Nolan, as well as Parker and Wesley, eventually returned, but the only consistent member was drummer John "Jabo" Starks, who originally joined in 1965. 

The JBs were then led by Wesley, who with Brown began creating music that was even less formal than before; as the instrumental sections dug into funk grooves, Brown, dubbing himself "Minister of New New Super Heavy Funk," mixed sociopolitical messages and stream-of-consciousness phrasing with an undeniable beat. 

James BrownBrown had been managing himself since the death of his manager in the late '60s, and in 1971 he had signed with an international record company, Polydor, and sold it his entire back catalogue. His records &Number 8212; "Hot Pants" (Number 15, 1971), "Make It Funky" (Number 68, 1971), "Talking Loud and Saying Nothing" (Number 27, 1972), "Get on the Good Foot" (Number 18, 1972), "The Payback" (Number 26, 1974), "My Thang" (Number 29, 1974), and "Papa Don't Take No Mess" (Number 31, 1974) &Number 8212; continued to sell by the millions. Though R&B chart-toppers, they increasingly failed to crack the pop Top 20, on which softer rock, highly polished R&B ballads, and the first hints of disco dominated. 

Around 1975 Brown's popularity began to wane. Because of financial difficulties, Brown was forced to sell his three black radio stations and his jet. The Internal Revenue Service claimed he owed $4.5 million in back taxes; a manager said Brown was part of a payola scandal; Brown's son Teddy had died in a car crash in 1973; and his second marriage ended. Young record buyers favored heirs like the Ohio Players, Kool and the Gang, and the Parliafunkadelicment Thang (which now employed Wesley and Parker). 

He was welcomed to Africa and Japan as a star, and at home he continued to work. When disco peaked in the late '70s, he promoted himself as "The Original Disco Man," which he was. When "It's Too Funky in Here" reached Number 15, it was called a "comeback." With a cameo role in the 1980 movie The Blues Brothers, Brown introduced his soul-church preaching to a new generation. Returning to American stages that year, he drew much of his audience from the white punk-funk faction, for whom he was the essence of polyrhythmic minimalism. In 1980 he recorded "Rapp Payback (Where Iz Moses?)," an homage to his earlier singles "Brother Rapp" and "The Payback," which prefigured the enormous influence he would come to have on the incipient rap scene. The single, a British dance hit (Number 39 U.K., 1981), helped activate a James Brown resurgence there. Finding himself label-less in the early '80s, Brown recorded the album Bring It On! for his own Augusta Sound label

In 1984 Brown joined with rapper Afrika Bambaataa on "Unity," released on New York rap label Tommy Boy. By this time, his music had been claimed as the virtual basis for hip-hop beats; among others, Kool Moe Dee and Eric B. & Rakim scored hits by sampling Brown's rhythms, and his 1969 recording "Funky Drummer" (featuring drummer Clyde Stubblefield) began appearing in myriad versions on rap and pop records. The rappers also borrowed poses from Brown's persona &Number 8212; street-savvy, self-contained, defiant. With Brown inducted as a charter member into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, his revival was bolstered by "Living in America," the theme song to Rocky IV. Recorded at the request of director Sylvester Stallone, the single (Number 4, 1986), included on the album Gravity(with guest stars Alison Moyet and Steve Winwood), won a Grammy in 1987 for Best R&B Performance. In 1989 Brown (with writer Bruce Tucker) published an autobiography, James Brown: The Godfather of Soul

In 1988, however, Brown's career ground to a halt. When his fourth wife, Adrienne, reported beatings, Brown was charged with assault with intent to murder and aggravated assault and battery. He surrendered to Aiken County, South Carolina, authorities near his 60-acre home in May and was released on bond. Then followed a year of bizarre legal troubles during which Adrienne, after her own arrest for alleged possession of PCP, first announced that she would file for legal separation, then relented and also withdrew the assault charges. Adrienne was arrested again for PCP possession and for arson. In September, as rumors circulated about his own PCP abuse and problems with the IRS, Brown allegedly threatened a group of people with a shotgun and then engaged in an interstate car chase with police that ended in his receiving a six-year sentence in a work-release program. 

Paroled in 1991 after serving two years of his sentence &Number 8212; during which he was visited by the Reverend Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Republican stalwart Lee Atwater but ignored by the music industry and most of his old friends &Number 8212; Brown returned to work with a pay-per-view television concert and a new album. With Star Time, a four-CD retrospective (later chosen by ROLLING STONE as Reissue of the Year), the best of Brown's catalogue was freshly available, and the singer's stature was unassailable. The late '90s were difficult for Brown personally. His wife died in January 1996, two days after undergoing cosmetic surgery. Two years later, the singer- then in his 60s &Number 8212; was arrested for possession of drugs and firearms. He continued making music, however, releasingI'm Back in 1998, his first studio album in four years. On Christmas Day, 2006, James Brown passed away from congestive heart failure due to complications from pnuemoina.
Information provided by www.rollingstone.com

George Walton

George WaltonGeorge Walton was born in Prince Edward County, Virginia, in 1741. His parents died soon after, and he was adopted by an Uncle who apprenticed him as a carpenter. Little else is know about his early years. He appeared again in 1769 when he moved to Savannah and began to study Law. He was admitted to the Bar in 1774. Deeply involved with the patriot movement in Georgia, he would ultimately serve an important role in the development of the state.

At the formation of the Georgia provincial Congress, Walton was elected Secretary, and made President of the Council of Safety. In 1776 he was elected to the Continental Congress, where he signed the Declaration of Independence. He spent many of the following years engaged in the defense of his state, and in a messy political battle with Button Gwinnett, another signer from Georgia. In 1778 Walton was commissioned a Colonel of the First Regiment of the Georgia Militia. He was injured in Battle and taken prisoner. He gained his freedom in 1779 through a prisoner exchange and was soon after elected Governor of Georgia, an office he held for only two months. Political conflict colored all of Walton's career. He was allied with General Lachlan McIntosh in a fierce struggle against Gwinnett for political dominance of the state. Walton was dispatched from office on several occasions, indicted for alleged criminal activities on others, in an interminable battle between two factions of the patriot movement in Georgia.

He was returned to congress in 1780 and stayed through 1781. He remained in Philadelphia until 1783. That year he was censured by the legislature for his involvement in a duel which led to the death Gwinnett by the hand of his rival, commissioned to treat with the Cherokee nation in Tennessee, and appointed Chief Justice of his state. In 1789 he served in the college of Electors and again elected Governor. The government was reorganized under an new constitution in November of that year, at which time Walton stepped down. He was immediately appointed a superior court judge. In 1795 he was sent to fill an unfulfilled term in the US Senate. He was not reelected. He then retired to farming. He died in Augusta in 1804 at the age of 64.

Lucy Craft Laney (1854-1933)

Lucy LaneyThe founder and principal of the Haines Institute in Augusta for fifty years (1883-1933), Lucy Craft Laney is Georgia's most famous female African American educator.

She was born on April 13, 1854, one of ten children, to Louisa and David Laney during slavery. Her parents, however, were not slaves. David Laney purchased his freedom about twenty years before Laney's birth; he purchased his wife's freedom sometime after their marriage. Laney learned to read and write by the age of four and could translate difficult passages in Latin by the age of twelve, including Julius Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic War. She attended Lewis (later Ballard) High School in Macon, which was sponsored by the American Missionary Association. In 1869 Laney joined the first class at Atlanta University, graduating from the Normal Department (teacher's training) in 1873. Women were not allowed to take the classics course at Atlanta University at that time, a reality to which Laney reacted with blistering indignation.

After teaching in Macon, SavannahMilledgeville, and Augusta for ten years, "Miss Lucy," as she was generally known, began her own school in 1883 in the basement of Christ Presbyterian Church in Augusta.

The school was chartered by the state three years later and named the Haines Normal and Industrial Institute. Originally Laney intended to admit only girls, but several boys appeared and she could not turn them away. Laney began her lifelong appeal for funding for her school by traveling to a meeting of the General Assembly of the Northern Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis in 1886. She addressed the assembly but received only her fare home. She did, however, obtain the confidence of a lifetime benefactor, Mrs. Francine E. H. Haines, for whom her school was named. By 1912 the Haines Institute employed thirty-four teachers, enrolled nine hundred students, and offered a fifth year of college preparatory high school in which Laney herself taught Latin. Haines graduates matriculated at Howard, Fisk, Yale, and other prestigious colleges, where they reflected the confidence and pride that Laney and her staff had instilled in their students.

Haines not only offered its students a holistic approach to education but also served as a cultural center for the African American community. The school hosted orchestra concerts, lectures by nationally famous guests, and various social events. Laney also inaugurated the first kindergarten and created the first nursing training programs for African American women in Augusta.

In Augusta Laney helped to found the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) chapter in 1918, and she was active in the Interracial Commission, the National Association of Colored Women, and the Niagara Movement. She also helped to integrate the community work of the YMCA and YWCA. Her friends and students included Mary McLeod Bethune, Charlotte Hawkins Brown, Nannie Helen Burroughs, W. E. B. Du Bois, Joseph Simeon Flipper, John Hope, Langston Hughes, Mary Jackson McCrorey (the associate principal at Haines from 1896 to 1916), William Scarborough, Martha Schofield, Madame C. J. Walker, Richard R. Wright Sr., and Frank Yerby. Laney died in 1933.

Lucy Craft Laney, the Reverend Henry McNeal Turner, and the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. were the first African Americans to have their portraits hung in the Georgia state capitol; they were selected by Governor Jimmy Carter in 1974. Laney's portrait bears tribute to "the mother of the children of the people," a woman who knew that "God didn't use any different dirt to make me than the first lady of the land." She was inducted into Georgia Women of Achievement in 1992.

Hulk Hogan

Hulk Hogan

Wrestler, actor. Born Terry Gene Bollea, on August 11, 1953, in Augusta, Georgia. Bollea is the youngest son of Pete Bollea, a construction foreman and Ruth Bollea, a homemaker and dance instructor. Bollea acquired an interest for wrestling in high school. He went on to study at Hillsborough Community College and the University of South Florida. However, in spite of his education, his interests remained in the ring, and he never received his degree. Instead, he chose to devote his time to working out in a local gym, owned by wrestlers Jack and Jerry Brisco. Encouraged by these two brothers, Bollea spent a few months wrestling on some small circuits in the Southeast.

In 1979, Bollea's talent caught the attention of Vincent McMahon Sr., the legendary promoter/owner of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), the most prominent wrestling league in the Northeast. McMahon gave Bollea an opportunity to join the WWF - along with a new identity. Because of his massive physique (he stood 6"8" and weighed 303 pounds) and resemblance to the comic book hero the Incredible Hulk, McMahon suggested that Terry assume the name Hulk Hogan.

In 1980, Hogan had his debut bout against the fierce Andre the Giant. Hogan won the match, along with the respect and support of wrestling fans throughout the country. Actor Sylvester Stallone was so impressed by Hogan's performance that he cast him as "Thunderlips the Ultimate Male" in his 1982 movie Rocky III.

In 1984, Hogan was awarded the WWF championship belt for his memorable defeat of the Iron Sheik and Hogan, along with the related phenomena of "Hulkamania," rose to super-stardom. Hogan would hold this title for three more years during which his success continued to bolster public fascination with professional wrestling.

By 1985, Hogan had acquired tremendous popularity among Americans. His image was marketed to sell a multitude of products, and he began to take on leading roles in a number of films. In 1989, Hogan starred in a wrestling movie titled No Holds Barred. While this film had moderate success, Hogan was seen in a number of box office disasters, which included Mr. Nanny (1993) and Santa with Muscles (1996).

The success Hogan enjoyed in the 1980s was counteracted by the failure he endured through the early 1990s. Accused of providing anabolic steroids to its wrestlers, the WWF underwent a turbulent trial in which Hogan was called to testify against his former boss Vince McMahon Jr., (who succeeded his father as the WWF owner). Hogan's admission of his drug abuse forced him to terminate both his wrestling and film careers.

Hogan surprised everyone by making a remarkable comeback to the wrestling arena in 1996. He re-invented himself as "Hollywood" Hogan, established himself as a villain and, once again, secured his popularity among wrestling fans. Hogan joined media tycoon Ted Turner's WCW (World Championship Wrestling) as part of the New World Order, a wrestling team that paired Hogan with two other wrestlers, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. This infamous triumvirate gained immense support from wrestling fans and, ultimately, returned Hogan to the success of his past.

Hogan's career as a professional wrestler has spanned over two decades, and he remains to be one of the sport’s most recognized figures. He is most noted for his accomplishments in bringing the WWF to the public arena. He is also largely responsible for the immense popularity of wrestling as a form of family entertainment. Hogan is married to Linda Bollea, and they have two children, Nicholas and Brooke.

Amy Grant 

Amy GrantAmy Grant was not only one of Christian music's most influential performers,  but also became a secular pop star in the late '80s and early '90s. This dichotomy drew ire from some in the fiercely protective gospel/CCM community, while it affected her image in the secular world as a Christian first and an attractive pop star second. But Grant herself never gave in to either side. Despite personal adversity and numerous controversies, she continued to be successful in both music worlds, while ultimately being true to herself.

She was born in Augusta, Ga., on Nov. 25, 1960, as the youngest of four children. Her family moved to Nashville shortly after her birth. She released her self-titled debut album at age 16 after signing with Myrrh/Word Records in 1976. In 1982, she married singer-songwriter Gary Chapman, who was to become her co-writer by the late '80s.

She became a gospel star in 1982 following the release of her acclaimed album Age to Age, which won a Grammy for best female gospel performance and three Dove Awards, including artist of the year. In 1984, she released a Christmas album and Straight Ahead. The latter won a Dove award and the cut "Angels," which she co-wrote, won a Grammy. In 1985, Age to Age was certified platinum, and her other two albums went gold. Her album Unguarded, released that same year, was also certified platinum and won her a Grammy. Grant caused an uproar among her loyal gospel audience with this album, which sported two successful pop crossover singles, "Find a Way" and "Wise Up." A year later, she made it to No. 1 on the pop charts with "The Next Time I Fall," a duet with Peter Cetera.

Throughout the '80s, Grant's success continued, as she racked up five Grammys between 1982 and 1988. She signed to A&M in 1990 and began focusing less on her squeaky-clean gospel singer persona, trying to project a more contemporary, sexy (albeit in a wholesome way) pop image. In 1991, she had three hit singles on the pop charts: "Baby Baby," "Every Heartbeat" and "That's What Love Is For." The album Heart in Motion sold 5 million copies and firmly established Grant as a bankable star in the secular world. While some in the Christian community again decried her newfound celebrity as a sellout of her values, Grant herself viewed it as an opportunity for faith ambassadorship.Home for Christmas followed in 1992 and sold 3 million copies.

Released in 1994, House of Love offered another round of wholesome pop, including the hit title duet with Vince Gill, and sold 2 million copies. But things took a more introspective turn with 1997's Behind the Eyes. The album's somber lyrics and spare arrangements were a noticeable departure from the lighthearted pop of her two previous records. But it was an important record, as it presaged her 1999 divorce from Chapman, her husband of 16 years and father of her three children. When the divorce was announced publicly, and it was revealed that Grant intended to marry longtime collaborator Gill, many in the Christian community were again up in arms over Grant's actions. Controversy ensued. Christian radio stations refused to play her songs; some Christian retail outlets pulled her albums. Nevertheless, on March 10, 2000, Grant married Gill in Nashville, and the two united their families. Their daughter Corrina was born a year later.

Recording-wise, the late '90s and early '00s found Grant performing Christmas music for a variety of venues. She released A Christmas to Remember, a collection of contemporary holiday music, in 1999, and hosted a prime time TV special based around the album's themes. The gospel album A Special Wish followed in 2001, leading up to the spring 2002 release of Legacy ... Hymns and Faith. A landmark recording, Legacy was a tasteful look back at the music that both influenced and guided Grant throughout her 25 years as a performer. In August 2003, Grant returned with Simple Things, her first album of new material in six years. While it dealt plainly with Grant's personal struggles, the album's central themes were of faith, love and forgiveness. That autumn, Grant made a round of promotional TV talk show appearances and served as the spokesperson for a nationwide series of 5K walkathons to benefit education.

Jessye Norman

(singer; born September 15, 1945, Augusta, Georgia)

Jessye NormanJessye Norman is one of the most celebrated artists of our century. She is also among the most distinguished in a long line of American sopranos who refused to believe in limits, a shining member of an artistic pantheon that has included Rosa Ponselle, Maria Callas, Leontyne Price and now this daughter of Augusta, Georgia. "Pigeonholing," said Norman, "is only interesting to pigeons." Norman’s dreams are limitless, and she has turned many of them into realities in a dazzling career that has been one of the most satisfying musical spectacles of our time.

She has been equally at home in American spirituals, French chansons or German Lieder. In opera, she has made her own Wagner’s Sieglinde and Elisabeth but also Gluck’s Alceste, Mozart’s Countess Almaviva, Strauss’ Ariadne and Stravinsky’s Jocasta. She has conquered centuries of musical styles, bringing to life not only Purcell’s Dido but the Dido of Berlioz, Beethoven’s Leonore and also Bizet’s Carmen. She has been an earthy temptress in the opera Parsifal, an unfortunate bride in Bluebeard’s Castle and a wise old nun in Dialogues of the Carmelites. From Haydn to Mahler to Schoenberg and Berg, from Satie and Poulenc to Gershwin and Bernstein, the range of Norman’s musical reach has been and continues to be breathtaking. No matter what the language, she makes every word matter, every note tell. She is a diva in the truest sense , in that there is something of the divine in the music she makes.

"The greatness of music speaks for itself when Jessye Norman sings,’’ wrote Octavio Roca in The Washington Post after one of Jessye Norman’s early Kennedy Center recitals, reflecting years later in The Washington Times that "listening to Jessye Norman find her way into a song is like watching in wonder as a beautiful morning reaches the climax of noon. Warmth and blinding light are everywhere in her voice." That same formidable voice was described by Edward Rothstein in The New York Times as "a grand mansion of sound. It defines an extraordinary space. It has enormous dimensions, reaching backward and upward. It opens onto unexpected vistas. It contains sunlit rooms, narrow passageways, cavernous falls."

She was born into a musical family, learned the piano when she could barely walk and sang "Jesus Is Calling" in public when she was only six. Norman pursued her formal musical studies at Howard University, then later at the Peabody Conservatory and the University of Michigan. She made her operatic debut in a 1969 production of Tannhaeuser at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, a now legendary series of performances that placed the music world at the young American’s feet. Norman, word soon spread, was not just another sensation but the real thing. She was showered with invitations for operas and recitals, and she soon conquered stages from Lincoln Center to Covent Garden, Carnegie Hall to the Musikverein, from La Scala to the Paris Opera and the Vienna State Opera, from Tokyo to San Francisco, Houston and Boston, from Granada to Graz and from Salzburg to Hong Kong.

The French, who named an orchid after Jessye Norman, also made her a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters and followed this by awarding her the Legion of Honor. She is an honorary fellow of Harvard and Cambridge universities, and she has received honorary doctorates from, among others, Juilliard, Howard, Harvard and Yale. In 1990 Jessye Norman was named honorary ambassador to the United Nations by U.N. secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar. She made Metropolitan Opera history by singing both Cassandra and Dido in a historic production of Les Troyens by Hector Berlioz during the Met’s centennial season. She embodied the spirit of liberty, equality and fraternity in France’s own bicentennial by singing "La Marseillaise" at the Place de la Concorde. She is a lifelong member of the Girls Scouts of America as well as of Great Britain’s Royal Academy of Music, she swims one hundred laps a day, and she is possessed of a laughter that is at least as irresistible as her voice.

That voice has been a sweet caress for audiences all over the world. But perhaps her caresses are warmest when she sings right here at home. Jessye Norman said not long ago that she simply "would like it to be that it made a difference to some people that I came and went, that I was here." She has made a difference to anyone who loves music, and indeed it matters quite a lot that she is here: Jessye Norman, a great American singer.

Information provided by www.kennedy-center.org

Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow WilsonLike Roosevelt before him, Woodrow Wilson regarded himself as the personal representative of the people. "No one but the President," he said, "seems to be expected ... to look out for the general interests of the country." He developed a program of progressive reform and asserted international leadership in building a new world order. In 1917 he proclaimed American entrance into World War I a crusade to make the world "safe for democracy."

Wilson had seen the frightfulness of war. He was born in Virginia in 1856, the son of a Presbyterian minister who during the Civil War was a pastor in Augusta, Georgia, and during Reconstruction a professor in the charred city of Columbia, South Carolina.

After graduation from Princeton (then the College of New Jersey) and the University of Virginia Law School, Wilson earned his doctorate at Johns Hopkins University and entered upon an academic career. In 1885 he married Ellen Louise Axson.

Wilson advanced rapidly as a conservative young professor of political science and became president of Princeton in 1902.

His growing national reputation led some conservative Democrats to consider him Presidential timber. First they persuaded him to run for Governor of New Jersey in 1910. In the campaign he asserted his independence of the conservatives and of the machine that had nominated him, endorsing a progressive platform, which he pursued as governor.

He was nominated for President at the 1912 Democratic Convention and campaigned on a program called the New Freedom, which stressed individualism and states' rights. In the three-way election he received only 42 percent of the popular vote but an overwhelming electoral vote.

Wilson maneuvered through Congress three major pieces of legislation. The first was a lower tariff, the Underwood Act; attached to the measure was a graduated Federal income tax. The passage of the Federal Reserve Act provided the Nation with the more elastic money supply it badly needed. In 1914 antitrust legislation established a Federal Trade Commission to prohibit unfair business practices.

Another burst of legislation followed in 1916. One new law prohibited child labor; another limited railroad workers to an eight-hour day. By virtue of this legislation and the slogan "he kept us out of war," Wilson narrowly won re-election.

But after the election Wilson concluded that America could not remain neutral in the World War. On April 2,1917, he asked Congress for a declaration of war on Germany.

Massive American effort slowly tipped the balance in favor of the Allies. Wilson went before Congress in January 1918, to enunciate American war aims--the Fourteen Points, the last of which would establish "A general association of nations...affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike."

After the Germans signed the Armistice in November 1918, Wilson went to Paris to try to build an enduring peace. He later presented to the Senate the Versailles Treaty, containing the Covenant of the League of Nations, and asked, "Dare we reject it and break the heart of the world?"

But the election of 1918 had shifted the balance in Congress to the Republicans. By seven votes the Versailles Treaty failed in the Senate.

The President, against the warnings of his doctors, had made a national tour to mobilize public sentiment for the treaty. Exhausted, he suffered a stroke and nearly died. Tenderly nursed by his second wife, Edith Bolling Galt, he lived until 1924. Information provided by www.whitehouse.gov 

Laurence Fishburne

Laurence Fishburne

Critically hailed for his forceful, militant, authoritarian roles, Laurence Fishburne, who is often confused with another tall, gap-toothed, mercurial African-American talent, Samuel L. Jackson, came out of the black theater in New York. Born in Augusta, Georgia, on July 30, 1961, Laurence's mother, who taught high school math, transplanted her family to Brooklyn after his parents divorced. At the age of 10, he appeared in his first play, "In My Many Names and Days," at a cramped little theater space in Manhattan. He continued on but managed to avoid the trappings of a child star per se, considering himself more a working child actor at the time. Billing himself as Larry Fishburne during this early phase, he never studied or was trained in the technique of acting.

In 1973, at the age of 12, Laurence won a recurring role on the daytime soap “One Life to Live” (1968) that lasted three seasons and subsequently made his film debut in the ghetto-themed Cornbread, Earl and Me (1975).  At 14,Francis Ford Coppola cast him in Apocalypse Now (1979), which filmed for two years in the Phillippines. Laurence didn't work for another year and a half after that long episode. A graduate of Lincoln Square Academy, Coppola was impressed enough with Laurence to hire him again down the line with featured roles in Rumble Fish (1983), The Cotton Club (1984), and Gardens of Stone (1987). Throughout the 1980s, he continued to build up his film and TV credit list with featured roles despite little fanfare. A recurring role as Cowboy Curtis on the kiddie show “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” (1986) helped him through whatever lean patches there were at the time.
With the new decade (1990s) came out-and-out stardom for Laurence. A choice lead in John Singleton’s urban tale Boyz n the Hood (1991) catapulted him immediately into the front of the film ranks. Set in LA's turbulent South Central area, his potent role as a morally minded divorced father who strives to rise above the ignorance and violence of his surroundings, Laurence showed true command and the ability to hold up any film. On stage, he would become invariably linked to playwright August Wilson and his 20th Century epic African-American experience after starring for two years as the eruptive ex-con in "Two Training Running." For this powerful, mesmerizing performance, Laurence won nearly every prestigious theater award in the books (Tony, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Theatre World). It was around the time of this career hallmark that he began billing himself as "Laurence" instead of "Larry."
More awards and accolades came his way. In addition to an Emmy for the pilot episode of the series "Tribeca," he was nominated for his fine work in the quality mini-movies The Tuskegee Airmen (1995) (TV) and Miss Evers’ Boys (1997) (TV). On the larger screen, both Laurence and Angela Bassett were given Oscar nominations for their raw, seething portrayals of rock stars Ike and Tina Turner in the film What’s Love Got to Do with It (1993). To his credit, he managed to take an extremely repellent character and make it a sobering and captivating experience. A pulp box-office favorite as well, he originated the role of Morpheus, Keanu Reeves' mentor, in the exceedingly popular futuristic sci-fi The Matrix (1999), best known for its ground-breaking special effects. He wisely returned for its back-to-back sequels.
Into the millennium, Laurence extended his talents by making his screenwriting and directorial debut in Once in the Life (2000), in which he also starred. The film is based on his own critically acclaimed play "Riff Raff," which he staged five years earlier. In 1999, he scored a major theater triumph with a multi-racial version of "The Lion in Winter" as Henry II opposite Stockard Channing’s Eleanor of Acquitaine.
On film, Fishburne has appeared in a variety of interesting roles in not-always-successful films. Never less than compelling, a few of his more notable parts include an urban speed chess player in Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993); a military prisoner in Cadence (1990); a college professor in Singleton's Higher Learning (1995); a CIA operative in Bad Company (1995/I); the title role in Othello (1995) (he was the first black actor to play the part on film); a spaceship rescue team leader in the sci-fi horror Event Horizon (1997); a Depression-era gangster in Hoodlum (1997); a dogged police sergeant in Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River (2003); and a spelling bee coach in Akeelah and the Bee (2006).
Earning multiple NAACP Image awards for his contribution to the entertainment business, he has two children, Langston and Montana, from his first marriage to actress Hajna O. Moss, who appeared with him in the films Gardens of Stone (1987) and A Rage in Harlem (1991). In September, 2002, he married Cuban-American actress Gina Torres.

George Washington 

On April 30, 1789, George Washington, standing on the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York, took his oath of office as the first President of the United States. "As the first of everything, in our situation will serve to establish a Precedent," he wrote James Madison, "it is devoutly wished on my part, that these precedents may be fixed on true principles."

Born in 1732 into a Virginia planter family, he learned the morals, manners, and body of knowledge requisite for an 18th century Virginia gentleman.

He pursued two intertwined interests: military arts and western expansion. At 16 he helped survey Shenandoah lands for Thomas, Lord Fairfax. Commissioned a lieutenant colonel in 1754, he fought the first skirmishes of what grew into the French and Indian War. The next year, as an aide to Gen. Edward Braddock, he escaped injury although four bullets ripped his coat and two horses were shot from under him.

From 1759 to the outbreak of the American Revolution, Washington managed his lands around Mount Vernon and served in the Virginia House of Burgesses. Married to a widow, Martha Dandridge Custis, he devoted himself to a busy and happy life. But like his fellow planters, Washington felt himself exploited by British merchants and hampered by British regulations. As the quarrel with the mother country grew acute, he moderately but firmly voiced his resistance to the restrictions.

When the Second Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia in May 1775, Washington, one of the Virginia delegates, was elected Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. On July 3, 1775, at Cambridge, Massachusetts, he took command of his ill-trained troops and embarked upon a war that was to last six grueling years.

He realized early that the best strategy was to harass the British. He reported to Congress, "we should on all Occasions avoid a general Action, or put anything to the Risque, unless compelled by a necessity, into which we ought never to be drawn." Ensuing battles saw him fall back slowly, then strike unexpectedly. Finally in 1781 with the aid of French allies--he forced the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown.

Washington longed to retire to his fields at Mount Vernon. But he soon realized that the Nation under its Articles of Confederation was not functioning well, so he became a prime mover in the steps leading to the Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia in 1787. When the new Constitution was ratified, the Electoral College unanimously elected Washington President

He did not infringe upon the policy making powers that he felt the Constitution gave Congress. But the determination of foreign policy became preponderantly a Presidential concern. When the French Revolution led to a major war between France and England, Washington refused to accept entirely the recommendations of either his Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, who was pro-French, or his Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, who was pro-British. Rather, he insisted upon a neutral course until the United States could grow stronger.

To his disappointment, two parties were developing by the end of his first term. Wearied of politics, feeling old, he retired at the end of his second. In his Farewell Address, he urged his countrymen to forswear excessive party spirit and geographical distinctions. In foreign affairs, he warned against long-term alliances.

Washington enjoyed less than three years of retirement at Mount Vernon, for he died of a throat infection December 14, 1799. For months the Nation mourned him.

Bobby Jones

Robert Tyre "Bobby" Jones Jr. (March 17, 1902 – December 18, 1971) was an American amateur golfer, and a lawyer by profession. Jones was the most successful amateur golfer ever to compete on a national and international level. During his peak as a golfer from 1923 to 1930, he dominated top-level amateur competition, and competed very successfully against the world's best professional golfers. Jones often beat stars such as Walter Hagen and Gene Sarazen, the era's top pros. Jones earned his living mainly as a lawyer, and competed in golf only as an amateur, primarily on a part-time basis, and chose to retire from competition at age 28, though he earned significant money from golf after that, as an instructor and equipment designer.

Explaining his decision to retire, Jones said, "It (championship golf) is something like a cage. First you are expected to get into it and then you are expected to stay there. But of course, nobody can stay there. Jones is most famous for his unique "Grand Slam," consisting of his victory in all four major golf tournaments of his era (the open and amateur championships in both the U.S. & Britain) in a single calendar year (1930).

After retiring from competitive golf in 1930, Jones started and helped to design the Augusta National Golf Club soon afterwards in 1933, and also co-founded the Masters Tournament, which has been annually staged by the club since 1934 (except for 1943-45, when it was cancelled due to World War II). The Masters evolved into one of golf's four major championships. Jones did come out of retirement in 1934, to play in the Masters, on an exhibition basis until 1948, when he quit golf permanently, due to ill health.

Early years

Jones was born in Atlanta, Georgia. He attended the Georgia Institute of Technology for college, where he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity.

Jones battled health issues as a young boy, and golf was prescribed to strengthen him. Encouraged by his father, Jones loved golf from the start. He developed quickly into a child prodigy, who won his first children's tournament at the age of six, and made the third round of the U.S. Amateur Championship at 14. That same year, 1916, he won the Georgia State Amateur Championship for his first important title, at the Capital City Club, in Brookhaven, where he became an active member later in life.

 He was trained and coached by club professional Stewart Maiden, a native of Carnoustie, Scotland. Maiden was the professional at the Atlanta Athletic Club's East Lake Golf Club, who also trained the somewhat older Alexa Stirling, also a prodigy, at East Lake around the same time.  Jones played frequently with his father, Col. Robert P. Jones, a skilled player himself. The younger Jones sometimes battled his own temper on the course, but later cured this problem as he became more experienced. Jones toured the U.S. during World War I from 1917–18, playing exhibition matches before large crowds, often with Alexa Stirling, to generate income for war relief. Playing in front of such crowds in these matches helped him, as he moved into national competition a bit later on.

Jones successfully represented the United States for the first time, in two winning international amateur team matches against Canada, in 1919 and 1920, earning three of a possible four points in foursomes and singles play. In 1919 he travelled to Hamilton Golf and Country Club, for his first serious competitive action outside the U.S., while in 1920, Engineers' G.C., in Roslyn, Long Island hosted the matches. Still a teenager, he was by far the youngest player in the series. Jones also played in the 1919 Canadian Open while in Hamilton, Ontario, performing very well to place tied for second, but 16 shots behind winner J. Douglas Edgar. Edgar had immigrated from England in 1919 to take a club professional's job in Atlanta at Druid Hills Golf Club; Edgar mentored and played frequently with Jones from 1919 to 1921. Edgar was credited by Jones with helping develop his game significantly.

Jones qualified for his first U.S. Open at age 18 in 1920, and was paired with the legendary Harry Vardon for the first two rounds.  He won the Southern Amateur three times: 1917, 1920, and 1922.

First majors

As an adult, he hit his stride in 1923, when he won his first U.S. Open. From that win at New York's Inwood Country Club, through his 1930 victory in the U.S. Amateur, he won 13 major championships (as they were counted at the time) in 20 attempts. Jones was the first player to win The Double, both the U.S. Open and The Open Championship in the same year (1926).

1930: Grand Slam

Jones is still the only player ever to have won the Grand Slam, or all four major championships, in the same year (1930). Jones made a bet on himself achieving this extraordary feat with British bookmakers early in 1930, before the first tournament of the Slam, at odds of 50-1, and collected over $60,000 when he did it.

Jones represented the United States in the Walker Cup five times, winning nine of his 10 matches, and the U.S. won the trophy all five times. He served as playing captain of the U.S. team in 1928 and 1930. He also won two other tournaments against professionals: the 1927 Southern Open and the 1930 Southeastern Open. Jones was a life-long member of the Atlanta Athletic Club (at the club's original site, now the East Lake Golf Club), and the Capital City Club in Atlanta.

Jones is considered one of the five giants of the 1920s American sports scene, along with baseball's Babe Ruth, boxing's Jack Dempsey, football's Red Grange, and tennis player Bill Tilden.  He was the first recipient of the AAU's Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States. He is the only sports figure to receive two ticker-tape parades in New York City, the first in 1926 and the second in 1930. Jones is memorialized in Augusta, Georgia at the Golf Gardens and has the Bobby Jones Expressway, also known as Interstate 520, named for him.


Jones was not only a consummately skilled golfer but exemplified the principles of sportsmanship and fair play. Early in his amateur career, he was in the final playoff of the 1925 U.S. Open at the Worcester Country Club. During the match, his ball ended up in the rough just off the fairway, and as he was setting up to play his shot, his iron caused a slight movement of the ball. He immediately got angry with himself, turned to the marshals, and called a penalty on himself. The marshals discussed among themselves and questioned some of the gallery whether they had seen Jones's ball move. Their decision was that neither they nor anyone else had witnessed any incident, so the decision was left to Jones. Bobby Jones called the two-stroke penalty on himself, not knowing that he would lose the tournament by one stroke. When he was praised for his gesture, Jones replied, "You may as well praise a man for not robbing a bank." The USGA's sportsmanship award is named the Bob Jones Award in his honor.

St Andrews, Scotland

Jones had a unique relationship with the town of St Andrews, Scotland. On his first appearance on the Old Course in The Open Championship of 1921, he withdrew after 11 holes in the third round, when he failed to complete the hole (in effect disqualifying himself), and tore up his scorecard, although he finished the round and indeed played the fourth round as well. He firmly stated his dislike for The Old Course and the town reciprocated, saying in the press, "Master Bobby is just a boy, and an ordinary boy at that." Later, he came to love the Old Course and the town like few others. When he won the Open at the Old Course in 1927, he wowed the crowd by asking that the trophy remain with his friends at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club rather than return with him to Atlanta. He won The Amateur Championship (British Amateur Championship) over The Old Course in 1930, and scored an double eagle 2 on the fourth hole (then a par-5, now a par-4), by holing a very long shot from a fairway bunker.  In 1958, he was named a Freeman of the City of St Andrews, becoming only the second American to be so honored, the other being Benjamin Franklin in 1759. Today, a scholarship exchange bearing the Jones name exists between the University of St Andrews and both Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. At Emory, four students are sent to St Andrews for an all-expenses-paid year of study and travel. In return, Emory accepts four students from St Andrews each year. The program, the Robert T. Jones Scholarship, is among the most prestigious scholarships offered by any university.

University, family, career

Jones's grave in Oakland Cemetery with putting green, golf balls, and mementos.

Jones was highly successful outside of golf as well. He earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1922, where he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, and played for the golf team. He then earned a B.A. in English Literature from Harvard College in 1924, where he was a member of the Owl Club. After only one year in law school at Emory University, he passed the Georgia bar exam. While attending Emory University, Jones became a member of Phi Delta Phi. After passing the Georgia bar exam, Jones joined his father's law firm in Atlanta.

Jones was married in 1924 to the former Mary Rice Malone. They had three children, Clara, Robert Tyre III, and Mary Ellen. When he retired from golf at age 28, he concentrated on his Atlanta law practice. That same year, 1930, he was honored with the first James E. Sullivan Award, awarded annually by the Amateur Athletic Union to the most outstanding amateur athlete in the United States.

Golf films, golf club design

In addition, Jones made 18 instructional golf films in Hollywood in the early 1930s, where he coached well-known stars with golf pointers. The films were very popular, and Jones gave up his amateur status while earning lucrative contract money for this venture. These films were put into storage and were unavailable for decades, but were later resurrected by Ely Callaway, who was a distant relative of Jones's, and were made available in digital format for purchase, some 60 years after their original release.

Jones worked with A.G. Spalding & Co. to develop the first set of matched clubs in the early 1930s; the clubs sold very well and are still considered among the best-designed sets ever made.

Augusta National

Following his retirement from competitive golf in 1930, and even in the years leading up to that, Jones had become one of the most famous athletes in the world, and was recognized virtually everywhere he went in public. While certainly appreciative of the enormous adulation and media coverage, this massive attention caused Jones to lose personal privacy in golf circles, and he wished to create a private golf club where he and his friends could play golf in peace and quiet. For several years, he searched for a property near Atlanta where he could develop his own golf club. His friend Clifford Roberts, a New York City investment dealer, knew of Jones's desire, became aware of a promising property for sale in Augusta, Georgia, where Jones's wife had grown up, and informed Jones about it. Jones first visited Fruitlands, an Augusta arboretum and indigo plantation since the Civil War era, in the spring of 1930, and he purchased it for $70,000 in 1931, with the plan to design a golf course on the site.

Jones co-designed the Augusta National course with Alister MacKenzie; the new club opened in early 1933. He founded the Masters Tournament, first played at Augusta in March 1934. The new tournament, originally known as the Augusta National Invitational, was an immediate success, and attracted most of the world's top players right from its start. Jones came out of retirement to play, essentially on an exhibition basis, and his presence guaranteed enormous media attention, boosting the new tournament's fame.

During World War II, Jones served as an officer in the U.S. Army Air Forces, reaching the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. During the war, Jones permitted the U.S. Army to graze cattle on the grounds at Augusta National. Later, in 1947, he founded Peachtree Golf Club in Atlanta and co-designed the course with Robert Trent Jones.

Masters Tournament, health worries

Jones did play in the Masters every year it was held until 1948, when he was 46 years old. By then, his health had declined to the stage where this was no longer possible. But with his health difficulties, and being past his prime and not competing elsewhere to stay in tournament form, he never truly contended to win the Masters, although his scores were usually respectable. These were largely ceremonial performances, since his main duty was as host of the event. His extraordinary popularity, efforts with the course design, and tournament organization boosted the profile of the Masters significantly. The tournament, jointly run by Jones and Clifford Roberts, made many important innovations which became the norm elsewhere, such as gallery ropes to control the flow of the large crowds, many scoreboards around the course, the use of red / green numbers on those scoreboards to denote under / over par scores, an international field of top players, high-caliber television coverage, and week-long admission passes for patrons, which became extremely hard to obtain. The tournament also sought and welcomed feedback from players, fans, and writers, leading to continual improvement over the years. The Masters gradually evolved to being one of the most respected tournaments in the world, one of the four major championships.

Incapacity and death

In 1948, Jones was diagnosed with syringomyelia, a fluid-filled cavity in his spinal cord which caused first pain, then paralysis. He was eventually restricted to a wheelchair. He died in Atlanta, Georgia, on December 18, 1971, about a week after converting to Catholicism. Jones was baptized on his death bed by Monsignor John D. Stapleton, pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta, the church attended by the Jones family and was buried in Atlanta's historic Oakland Cemetery. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.