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This Day in Georgia History

October 31, 1918

Griffin Bell Born

Lawyer, judge, and politician Griffin Bell was born in Americus, Georgia. During World War II, he rose to the rank of major in the Army. Graduating from Georgia Southwestern College and Mercer Law School, Bell began the practice of law in 1948, and in 1953 he became a partner in the Atlanta law firm of King and Spalding. He served as Gov. Ernest Vandiver’s chief of staff (1958-1961), judge on the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals from 1961-76, and U.S. Attorney General under President Jimmy Carter (1977-79). After Carter’s administration, Bell returned to the practice of law at King and Spalding. He died in Atlanta on January 5, 2009.