Hamilton, Grace Towns
Civil rights activist and politician Grace Towns Hamilton was born in Atlanta, Georgia on February 10, 1907. She received her undergraduate degree from hometown Atlanta University, before completing her master’s degree at Ohio State University. She held teaching positions at the Atlanta School of Social Work, Clark College, and LeMoyne College in Memphis, while maintaining an active interest in the civil rights movement. Hamilton served as executive director of the Atlanta Urban League from 1943-1960, and also sat on the board of the Southern Regional Council and the Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women, as well as many other voluntary positions. But she made her most lasting mark by becoming the first African-American woman elected to the Georgia General Assembly in 1964. Hamilton served in Georgia House of Representatives from 1965 through 1984. She died on June 17, 1992. Today, a chair in the Emory University political science department is named in her honor.