fonte: Brian Hopkins
Atlanta’s 10 most powerful and influential people
COMMENTARY | Atlanta is considered to be the unofficial capital of the southeastern United States. Atlanta is also a city with considerable influence on politics, religion, and entertainment. So, to be one of the most powerful people in Atlanta means that you’re also one of the most powerful people in the world, but what is power? For the purposes of this ranking, we looked at political influence, social status, and last, but certainly not least, wealth. After all, it was Tony Montana in “Scarface” who said, “In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then, when you get the money, you get the power.” With that said, here is a listing of Atlanta’s 10 most powerful people.
10. Kasim Reed – Mayor of Atlanta
Unlike in some U.S. cities, in Atlanta the mayor actually does have considerable power and political influence. As a former two-term member as a state representative and former vice chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus, Mayor Reed has made quite a few powerful and influential friends during his ride to the city’s most prestigious office.
9. Monica Pearson – News anchor WSB-TV
For over 35 years, Monica Pearson has been the anchor for one of Atlanta’s largest networks. Pearson has received various awards for her reporting and was not only first African-American woman to be named an anchor in Atlanta, but is also the longest running anchor in Atlanta history. Pearson’s involvement with various business leaders, political groups, and religious leaders in Atlanta make her well-deserving of the title of one of Atlanta’s most powerful.
8. Andrew Young – Former Atlanta mayor, congressman, and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations
Andrew Young has led a movie-script life. He was an involved activist and confidant of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. He is a former U.S. congressman and was appointed as ambassador to the U.N. by President Jimmy Carter and also held the office of mayor in Atlanta. Young was a driving force behind getting the 1996 Olympic Games to come to Atlanta and is credited with spearheading Atlanta’s corporate appeal to business around the world.
7. Clark Howard – Consumer advocate
When millions of people around the world watch television, listen to radio, or search the Internet to hear what you say is or isn’t a good deal, you’ve got true power. Clark Howard is one of the most widely used names not only in Atlanta, but also around the country. When you’re the world’s king of saving money and the world’s in an economic spiral, you’re going to wield a mighty sword in the world of influence.
6. Elton John – Entertainer and philanthropist
While his main home is abroad, Elton John’s primary U.S. residence is just minutes from downtown Atlanta. In a career that has spanned over four decades, Elton John has won almost every major music award thinkable. He is one of the most successful activists and philanthropists in the world and is a frequent name mentioned when listing the world’s most rich and powerful entertainers.
5. Nathan Deal – Governor and former U.S. congressman
Being the governor of the state of Georgia immediately qualifies you for the list of Atlanta’s most powerful people. Nathan Deal’s congressional ties and association with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich give Georgia’s top official a firm position on the list of Atlanta’s most powerful.
4. Tyler Perry – Actor, writer, and producer
Perry has built one of the most successful movie and television production companies in the world. He exhibits considerable influence among Atlanta’s African-American community and is widely respected by the city’s political and religious leaders, but when you have a direct line to Oprah Winfrey, you’re a pretty powerful guy.
3. Ted Turner – Media mogul
Had this article been written 15 years ago, Ted Turner would be the undisputed most powerful man in Atlanta. Ted Turner is the former owner of the Atlanta Braves, the founder of both TBS and CNN, and one of the largest individual land owners in the U.S. Although Turner is in the spotlight far less than he used to be, his estimated net worth is still in the billions.
2. Newt Gingrich – Former congressman and speaker of the House
To have a chance at being elected as the Republican candidate for the 2012 Presidential election, you’ve got to be a polarizing figure, and Newt Gingrich is exactly that. His congressional career spans over 30 years, and he has worked closely with several presidents (both Republican and Democrat). Gingrich’s ties with some of the political and business worlds’ most powerful and influential make him just that.
1. Arthur Blank – Businessman
Sometimes popularity can give you a power that even money can’t buy. Arthur Blank has endeared himself with the city and thusly become the most powerful man in Atlanta. The co-founder of Home Depot purchased the Atlanta Falcons and the Georgia Force. Since acquiring the Falcons, he has initiated the most successful run in the team’s history. In addition to this, his various charitable contributions and warm personality have captivated the Atlanta public.
Brian Hopkins has been involved with the city of Atlanta’s business and political structure for over 20 years. He has covered various local political issues as an independent writer during that time. He currently serves as a consumer advocate, and he is the founder of 4TheConsumer.com.