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Burrell, Berkeley Graham (12 June 1919–30 August 1979), business executive and civic leader, was born in Washington, D.C., the son of Hayward G. Burrell and Fannie Miles. Although his parents’ occupations are unknown, both his father and mother were natives of the District of Columbia, and Burrell’s roots in the area ran deep. After graduating from Dunbar High School at the age of fifteen, he worked as a driver for a local pharmacy and apparently also drove a cab for a while. He married at age sixteen (wife’s name unknown), and the marriage produced a son before ending in divorce seven years later....

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DeWolf, James (18 March 1764–21 December 1837), slave trader, politician, and businessman, was born in Bristol, Rhode Island. His father, Mark Anthony DeWolf, emigrated from Guadeloupe Island, West Indies, after being hired as a deckhand on a slave-trading vessel owned by Simeon Potter. Once back in Bristol, Potter introduced Mark Anthony to his sister Abigail Potter. The two married shortly thereafter and had fifteen children; eight were sons of which three died at sea. The remaining five boys, including James, became involved in the transatlantic slave trade. All the DeWolf children, boys and girls, received a formal education and lived a somewhat privileged life....

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Jackson, Maynard Holbrook, Jr. (23 March 1938–23 June 2003), Atlanta mayor, businessman, and national political leader, was born in Dallas, Texas, the second of five children and the eldest son of the Reverend Maynard Holbrook Jackson, Sr., and Irene Dobbs Jackson, a professor of French. The family moved to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1945 when Reverend Jackson was chosen as the new minister of Friendship Baptist Church. A large youth who grew into a six-foot-three, three-hundred-pound adult, Maynard, Jr., was a poor athlete but a brilliant student who skipped grades six and seven, as well as his junior and senior years of high school, and enrolled in Morehouse College at age fourteen. When his father died the following year, his maternal grandfather, the Atlanta civic and political leader John Wesley Dobbs, became his surrogate father. Dobbs was one of the most important leaders in Atlanta’s black community for more than four decades. He was known as the “Mayor of Auburn Avenue” (the location of several of Atlanta’s largest black businesses), and he served as the national grand master of the Prince Hall Masons from 1932 until his death in 1961....