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This Day in Georgia History

September 21, 1863

Clark Howell Born

Newspaper reporter, editor, and politician Clark Howell was born in Barnwell County, South Carolina. Graduating from the University of Georgia in 1883, Howell became night editor of the Atlanta Constitution at age 21. Here he was influenced by his father Evan Howell (who was half-owner and chief editor of the Constitution) and managing editor Henry Grady. In 1885, Howell was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives, where he served as Speaker of the House (1890-91). After Henry Grady’s death in 1889, the younger Howell was made Constitution managing editor. Both father and son used the newspaper’s editorial pages to promote a “New South” - which included opposition to political and social evils of the day. In 1897, Evan Howell retired, and Clark Howell became chief editor. Four years later, he purchased controlling interest in the Constitution. While running the newspaper, Howell also served in the Georgia Senate (1900-06) and lost a bid for governor in 1907. In terms of national politics, Howell became a good friend of Franklin D. Roosevelt and an early supporter of his bid for the presidency. After Roosevelt’s election, Howell was appointed to several federal commissions. Howell died in Atlanta on Nov. 14, 1936.