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Knight, Lucian Lamar

Historian Lucian Lamar Knight was born in Atlanta on February 9, 1868. He was a cousin of Henry Grady, who introduced him to the newspaper business when he was young. After graduation from the University of Georgia and a brief time in the field of law, Knight began his career with the Atlanta Constitution in 1892. For ten years, he wrote on a wide variety of topics - humor, poetry, eulogies, but most importantly history. Knight resigned from the newspaper in 1902, studied theology at Princeton, traveled widely in Europe, before settling in California. Here, while employed by a law firm, he published Reminiscences of Famous Georgians in 1907. A second volume of Reminiscences followed in 1908, before Knight returned to Atlanta to serve as managing editor for a Library of Southern Literature series.

In 1913 Knight accepted the post of compiler of state records. He soon noticed the need for better preservation, collection, and housing of historical documents related to Georgia. He campaigned for five years before the General Assembly finally created an official Department of Archives (later renamed the Department of Archives and History). Knight was the first head of this department and served until his retirement in 1925. He oversaw the first printing of the state’s Statistical Register, as well as earlier publication of Georgia’s Colonial Records, Georgia’s Landmarks, Memorials, and Legends, and a six-volume work—A Standard History of Georgia and Georgians. After his retirement Knight continued to travel and speak and write frequently on Georgia history. He died while visiting Clearwater, Florida on November 19, 1933. His body was returned to Georgia, where he was buried in the historic Christ Church cemetery on St. Simon’s Island.