100 Most Influential Southernerf of the Century




From The Atlanta Journal Constitution comes a reader poll that “Asked to name the 100 most influential Southerners of the past century, more than 3,700 Atlanta Journal-Constitution readers responded.”

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Very interesting… A couple points:

(1) Weren’t the Wright brothers originally from the North?

(2) Any list that lists Ted Turner in the Top 5 is bound to shed negative light somewhere…

(3) Jackie Robinson is WAY LOW on this list!

(4) Ty Cobb (a racist) tied with B.B. King in the voting is unintentional hilarity!

Yer pal,

(1) I remember the same thing…one of those charming for-kids-only biographies I read as a sprout…the Wright Bros. tinkering away in their little bicycle shop in Toledo, Ohio, prior to their invention of the aeroplane.

And Flannery O’Connor comes in at #69, AFTER Storm Thurmond and Newt Gingrich? Harrrumph.


Hmmm. Nowhere to be found on this list are distinguished former SC residents Vanna White, Chubby Checker, Doug Llewellyn, and Hugh “Mr Green Jeans” Brannum.


I’m just amazed by the fact that Julian Bond fared worse than Strom Thurmond. (96 vs. 64)

No racoons were harmed in the making of this post.

Why is there is a “non-southerners” category in the list of 100 most influential southerners?

“I’m just too much for human existence – I should be animated.”
–Wayne Knight

Why is there a foundation on the list?

#94. Rockefeller Foundation

Imports, Daniel, imports.

I didn’t care for the list for several reasons, including the Wright Brothers (from Dayton, Ohio, not Toledo, or their plane would have been named the Mud Hen).

Where is George C. Marshall?! He had a heckuva lot more influence on the 20th Century than the majority of the other listees.

I am rather stunned that Andy Griffith made the list, but D.W. Griffith (Kentucky) didn’t!

What the hell kind of pig-ignorant jerks filled out this poll? The AFI?

Foam rubber from the south?

t lion

I’m amused that Colonel Sanders made it all the way to number 24.

I don’t like such lists in general. For one, the person(s) compiling such a list usually seem to have only superficial knowledge of the people on it.

For another, such lists tend to be very PC and trendy (Gingrich’s and Cobb’s presence on the aforementioned list notwithstanding; they’re probably there for some other political pupose). It’s usually a sign of a slow news day. (“Well not much is going on, lets concoct another list.”)

This year there are four times as many lists as usual. In addition to the year end wrapup, we also have to deal with “The '90s in Review”, “The [adjective, plural noun] of the Century”, and “The Millenneum: a Look Back.”

It’s a long way to heaven, but only three short steps to hell.

I remember a columnist in The Washington Post that felt the exact same way you did, J.

Worse of the Best

No racoons were harmed in the making of this post.

What a bogus article, all the way around. The hard copy edition (yes, I still read the paper paper) also asked a handful of “notables” to pick their personal top twenty. After reading the background information on the person one could pretty much guess the contents of their list. One civil rights activist “limited his selections to African-Americans only”. Agendas suck.

I think people miss the point of these surveys as well. Aren’t we looking for the most influential people? For the most part, what you have there is the most popular Southerners. Evil people can be influential, too.

For instance, consider the impact that James Earl Ray had on the last third of this century. Admirable – no. Influential – yes.

Some people’s influence has a BAD effect on the world. Does that lessen the amount of their influence?

Plunging like stones from a slingshot on Mars.