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Remembering Jim Maddox, former Atlanta City Council member


Jim Maddox, who held the distinction of being the longest-serving elected official in the City of Atlanta’s history, has passed away at the age of 88. 

Often referred to as the Dean of City Council, Maddox retired in 2009 after an impressive 32 years of dedicated service. During his tenure, he was re-elected eight times to represent District 11 in southwest Atlanta.

Maddox served in his capacity as an Atlanta City Council member during the administrations of four different Atlanta mayors, dating all the way back to Maynard Jackson’s first term in the 1970s. His enduring commitment and service to the city earned him a place of prominence in Atlanta’s political landscape.

The Mayor of Atlanta and members of the Atlanta City Council expressed their condolences and paid tribute to Jim Maddox’s legacy as they described him as a “selfless and insightful visionary” who played a pivotal role in positioning Atlanta as an international city by forging strong relationships with other countries. His diplomatic efforts abroad contributed significantly to Atlanta’s global recognition and prominence.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens praised Maddox as a staunch champion for the city and noted his significant contributions both locally and on the global stage. 

Dickens released the following statement: “I am saddened to learn that the man known as the Dean of the Atlanta City Council has passed away. Jim Maddox held the record as the longest serving elected leader in Atlanta’s history. He spent 32 years on the Council. He capably represented District 11 but was also a major flagbearer for Atlanta on the global stage. He may have left public office, but Mr. Maddox never stopped singing Atlanta’s praises around the world. This city has lost a staunch champion. On behalf of the City of Atlanta, I’m sending sincere condolences to the Maddox family.”

The Atlanta City Council released a statement, saying: “With the passing of Jim Maddox, we mourn the loss of a selfless and insightful visionary who was a trailblazing advocate in helping the City of Atlanta establish an international presence and partnerships with other countries. His representation overseas and efforts helped place Atlanta on a global stage. As a result of his unwavering commitment to his community and city, he left a profound mark as the longest-serving member of the City Council. We extend our condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues.”

Maddox made significant contributions during his time in office, leaving a lasting legacy. He chaired the influential Community Development and Human Services committee, where he played a pivotal role in shaping city policies and initiatives related to community development and human services. 

His leadership resulted in the creation of Atlanta’s 911 system, a crucial public safety service that has undoubtedly saved countless lives over the years. Maddox was instrumental in establishing the Atlanta Sister Cities Commission, fostering international relationships and connections for the city. 

He spearheaded the creation of a Tax Allocation District along the Campbellton Corridor, contributing to economic development and revitalization efforts in that area.

Maddox continued to promote Atlanta worldwide even after leaving public office. 

Additionally, Maddox played a prominent role in the creation of the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve, a testament to his commitment to environmental conservation and community enrichment.

In recognition of his dedication and service, the Community Development and Human Services committee passed legislation to add Jim Maddox’s name to the entry signage at the nature preserve, a fitting tribute to honor his contributions to the District 11 community and the city of Atlanta as a whole.

Maddox was a highly accomplished individual with a diverse background. He was a graduate of Morehouse College and the Atlanta University School of Business Administration. He enjoyed a distinguished career at Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems, where he served for an impressive 34 years as a contract administrator. In addition, Maddox contributed to the community by serving as the campaign public affairs director for the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta for a decade. His role involved promoting and facilitating charitable campaigns to support various social and community causes.

Maddox’s unwavering dedication to his community and city has undoubtedly left a profound and lasting impact, and his contributions will be remembered with gratitude and respect.


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