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This Day in Georgia History

April 27, 1861

Richard B. Russell, Sr. Born

Richard B. Russell Sr. was born near Marietta, Georgia. He attended the University of Georgia obtaining an undergraduate degree in 1879 and a law degree in 1880. Russell began the practice of law in Athens, and in 1882 was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1882. Russell was committed to education, serving on the local boards of education in Athens, Winterville, and in the village (and later town) of Russell. During his six years in the General Assembly, Russell supported creation of Georgia Tech and the Georgia Normal and Industrial College for Women at Milledgeville [now Georgia College and State University]. He served on the governing boards of the University of Georgia the new college for women at Milledgeville, also serving on the first board of regents for the new University System of Georgia (1932-33). Russell’s is probably best remembered for his judicial career. He served as both prosecuting attorney and later judge of the western superior court circuit, judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals, and chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court (1926-1938). During his career, Russell also ran unsuccessful races for governor, U.S. Representative, and U.S. Senator. He died in Russell, Georgia on Dec. 3, 1938.