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This Day in Georgia History

August 01, 1895

Benjamin Mays Born

To view an image of Benjamin Mays, see the Digital Library of Georgia.

Black educator and civil rights advocate Benjamin Mays was born in rural South Carolina, son of former slaves turned tenant farmers. Committed to the importance of education, Mays attended several colleges before obtaining his doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1935. A year later, he became president of Morehouse College. At age 72, he became the first black president of the Atlanta Board of Education, a position he held for 12 years. During his life, he received 49 honorary doctorate degrees.