You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Remembering AJC columnist and Southern humorist Lewis Grizzard

Late writer would have been 70 on Oct. 20, 2016


Lewis Grizzard was thoroughly Southern, and, to many, he gave voice to the region through changing times.

Born at Fort Benning on Oct. 20, 1946, Grizzard would, after graduating from the University of Georgia, become sports editor for the Atlanta Journal. After an unhappy stint at the Chicago Sun-Times in the mid-1970s, he would return to Atlanta and spend more than 15 years writing a column for the Atlanta Constitution, documenting, and frequently lamenting, the changes that were rehaping our region. He made readers laugh. He made them pine for a fondly recalled past. Sometimes, with tender remembrances, he made them cry.

And he made them mad. He was a pioneer in the realm of political incorrectness. Humor was his medium, but not everyone was laughing.

Pat Conroy was definitely not a fan. ''Your South is the one I loathe, Lewis,'' he wrote in an open letter, a reference, in part, to frequent cataaccusations of racism against Grizzard. It's a charge the embattled columnist vehemently denied.

He was an equal-opportunity offender. He angered conservatives, too, when he expressed support for abortion rights and gun control. Of the latter, he wrote: "The National Rifle Association [members] are bullet brains. I'd like to see the animals armed."

For all of the detractors, there were fans by the score. He published more than 20 books (18 of them New York Times bestsellers), made popular concert appearances and acted in an episode of "Designing Women," starring as Clayton Sugarbaker, the half-brother of Julia and Suzanne Sugarbaker. He was so popular in Atlanta that Creative Loafing had to create a category in its annual poll for "Best Columnist Besides Lewis Grizzard."

Upon his death in 1994, the AJC editorial board wrote: "To readers across the nation, Lewis Grizzard was Atlanta, The Journal, and the South. In the tradition of Southern humorists, he found in the distinctiveness of the South, its people and their ordinary lives and pleasures the material to entertain a nation. His genuine delight, and the humor he found, in the passions and rituals of the Southern town — family, food and football — anchored us all to the memories we cherish and the places we wanted to be. Even as he reminded us that the South is changing incomprehensibly fast, his wit offered safe harbor from our fears that the region we love is losing its uniqueness."

A congential heart defect finally resisted one final effort to repair it on March 20, 1994.  Had he survived his troublesome heart, Grizzard would have been 70 years old on Oct. 20, 2016.

Here are a few of readers' favorite columns, a handful of the many published in the days following his death, along with a remembrance by late AJC sports editor Furman Bisher and a gallery of photos:

Man's best friend: Catfish's howling holds twilight at bay

A special woman: For a mother on her day

The good life: Me in my Guccis

On food: I ate breakfast — and lived

Southern ways: Chicago-like weather chills urge to gloat

My Mama's pain over; I still hurt

Bisher: Grizzard 'so young,' but not for us to say

Photos: Remembering Lewis Grizzard

Bill Oberst reads one of Grizzard's classic columns about UGA football


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Living

End result of fight should be unification
End result of fight should be unification

Patricia Holbrook is a Christian author, blogger and international speaker. Her book, “Twelve Inches,” is on sale at Barnes & Nobles, Amazon and retailers worldwide. Visit her website www.soaringwithHim.com. For speaking engagements and comments, email pholbrook@soaringwithHim.com. This week marked the 88th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther...
Carolina chickadee brings good cheer in winter
Carolina chickadee brings good cheer in winter

Among the customers at our bird feeder this time of year, one we can count on for daily visits is the Carolina chickadee. And that’s just fine with me. I never tire of watching the lively, inquisitive little bird with such a cheerful disposition. With its spiffy black cap, black bib, white cheeks and white belly, it appears as if always dressed...
Stay calm while approaching issue of vaping
Stay calm while approaching issue of vaping

Visit family psychologist John Rosemond’s website at www.johnrosemond.com; readers may send him email at questions@rosemond.com; due to the volume of mail, not every question will be answered. Living with Children: Vaping and peer pressure By John Rosemond, Tribune News Service (TNS) Q: I found a vaping pen hidden in my 13-year-old son&rsquo...
Why a guy from metro Atlanta joined the Bikers for Trump rally in DC
Why a guy from metro Atlanta joined the Bikers for Trump rally in DC

WASHINGTON – Rich Mayo and his Honda VTX Cruiser made the trip from metro Atlanta to Washington to join the Bikers for Trump brigade, a loosely organized band of (mostly) brothers who have pledged to serve as an unofficial security force, lest protestors try to cause harm or property damage during inauguration festivities. “What they stand...
Signs of Solidarity: Positive words spring up on signs around town
Signs of Solidarity: Positive words spring up on signs around town

America needs a chill pill. As an antidote to the angst of this election season, a group of Atlanta artists are hanging signs of encouragement and good will on storefronts and residences all around the downtown, Cabbagetown and the Fourth Ward. “Love and Unity” reads one. “Girls with Dreams Become Women With Vision,” says another...
More Stories