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Former First Lady of Atlanta, Bunnie Jackson-Ransom, dead at 82


Bunnie Jackson-Ransom, the former First Lady of Atlanta, has died at the age of 82. Jackson-Ransom was the ex-wife of the City of Atlanta’s first Black mayor, Maynard Jackson.

An influential businesswoman and community leader, Jackson-Ransom launched First Class Public Relations that worked with companies on their community relations in Atlanta and around the country.

After her marriage to Jackson ended, Jackson-Ransom helped turn Atlanta soul and funk bands into national acts. She was also recognized for years as one of Atlanta’s “Top 100 Women of Influence.”

Born on Nov. 16, 1940 in Louisburg, North Carolina, Jackson -Ramsom graduate magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in business and a minor in education from North Carolina College and earned her master’s degree in business from North Carolina Central University School of Business and Economics.

After graduation, she served as an instructor of business and supervisor of secretarial services at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina. 

She eventually relocated to Georgia, where she would meet an upcoming politician, Maynard Jackson. The two would marry in 1965. Eight years later, she would become the first Black first lady of Atlanta after her husband broke the color barrier for the city’s top executive office. The two would divorce by the end of Jackson’s first term.

In 1975, she founded FirstClass, Inc., specializing in public relations and marketing. She built a small, but formidable firm taking on such clients as The National Conference of Black Mayors, Waste Management, Inc. and the Burger King Corporation.

Jackson-Ransom would later remarry to Raymond Ransom, bass player for the musical group Brick.

She was part of the Atlanta League of Women Voters, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Executive Committee member of the Atlanta branch of the NAACP, the Azalea Chapter of The Links, Inc., the Metropolitan Atlanta Coalition of 100 Black Women and the National Council of Negro Women.

She was also an active member of the Cascade United Methodist Church. She was also listed in Who’s Who in American Women, Who’s Who in Georgia and Who’s Who in Black America, Dollars and Sense Magazine as one of “America’s Top 100 Black Business and Professional Women”, and Atlanta’s “Top 100 Women of Influence” by the Atlanta Business League.

In 2021, she would release an autobiography of her life titled “Memoirs of a Life Well Lived“.

Jackson-Ransom leaves behind four children: Beth Jackson Hodges, Brooke Jackson Edmond, Rae Yvonne Ransom and Maynard H. Jackson, III, and five grandchildren.


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