Georgia Gang moderator Dick Williams has died
Dick Williams, a fixture of Atlanta journalism for the past four decades and formerly of the Georgia Gang, died Thursday at the age of 77 from congestive heart failure.
Williams’ lengthy career included successful stints in television, newspapers, and politics. Williams helped launch the Georgia Gang in the early 1980s and served as the moderator for most of its nearly 40 years. The show has endured through the years and is the longest-running public affairs program in the state.
Williams was a conservative voice, working at WXIA and later
as a columnist for the Atlanta Journal. Williams would later own his own paper, the Dunwoody Crier, which he ran for more than 20 years before selling it to Appen Media Group in 2019. Williams is also credited with helping with the creation of the City of Dunwoody.
High school basketball players across the state knew him as the ‘Ref’. Williams served as a referee for their games for 30 years, including eight state tournaments.
Said Tharon Johnson, a Democratic strategist, CEO of Paramount Consulting, and Georgia Gang panelist, “Dick Williams was a visionary and 40 plus years ago he saw that you could actually bring men and women, from different sides of the aisle, particularly journalists and have a very, very robust conversation about politics, but more importantly about the communities in which we serve.”
“What’s, I think, great, especially in these divisive political times is to have all points of view represented and you get information and hopefully, fact-based opinion on The Georgia Gang,” said Phil Kent, CEO of InsiderAdvantage and a panelist of the show.
Political reporter Lori Geary, who serves as the moderator of The Georgia Gang shared on Facebook her memories of Williams saying, “He graciously passed the baton of his beloved ‘Georgia Gang’ to me, and boy were they big shoes to fill. Dick had a great sense of humor, was a devoted family man to his late wife, Rebecca, and their two daughters, and was always a consummate professional. Dunwoody wouldn’t be what it is today without Dick Williams.”