Among his extensive accomplishment, Dortch invested in Georgia’s HBCUs and was a chairman of the 100 Black Men of America, Inc.
ATLANTA — Georgia is mourning the passing of Thomas “Tommy” Dortch, Jr., 72, – an Atlanta businessman, community advocate, mentor and trailblazer.
Dortch was the former chairman of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) and the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. He was also a successful businessman including at his consulting firm TWD, Inc.
Among Dortch’s extensive accomplishments, he also invested in Georgia’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities – including Clark Atlanta University. Last week, Rep. Nikema Williams recognized Dortch on the U.S. House floor – introducing legislation and advocating for him to receive a Congressional Gold Medal for his contributions, which have made an impact across the country. Dortch founded the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame and led the foundation to award over $1 million in grants and scholarships to students, which helped expose more than half a million students to college opportunities, Rep. Williams said.
“Tommy devoted his life to mentoring Black boys and girls, supporting Historically Black Colleges & Universities, advocating for Black political empowerment, building institutions in support of the movement to increase economic mobility and access to greater opportunities for all, and so much more,” a statement from the NCBCP said in part.
Leaders across Atlanta and the Peach State are reacting to the news of Dortch’s passing. Here are what some are saying:
Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock
Deeply saddened to hear my friend Thomas “Tommy” Dortch, Jr. of @100BlackMen has passed away.
⁰He was a trailblazer whose decades of leadership in the community moved Georgia forward and paved the way for so many who have come behind him.
⁰Praying for his family & many friends.
— Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (@SenatorWarnock) February 15, 2023
Congresswoman Nikema Williams
Heartbroken by the passing of Thomas Dortch, Jr.
Eternally grateful for his lifelong work to advance equity through his commitment to HBCUs.
Comforted to know he watched me introduce a bill to award him a Congressional Gold Medal last week.
His loved ones are in my prayers.
— Congresswoman Nikema Williams (@RepNikema) February 16, 2023
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens
“This is a sad day for our city. We have lost another soldier. Tommy Dortch wasn’t born in Atlanta. He came here to attend school, and never left. And Atlanta is the better for it. Whether during his days in government or during his tenure leading 100 Black Men of Atlanta and later 100 Black Men of America, Tommy never lost sight of his mission. Long before we called it diversity, equity and inclusion, Tommy was hard at work in that space. In matters of equity, not too much happened here that Tommy wasn’t involved in. Tommy was a connector and a facilitator. He knew how to get the right people together to make something good happen for Atlanta. He was also a tireless advocate for our young people. When we decided that 2023 would be Atlanta’s Year of the Youth, I knew that I could count on him sharing his support and wisdom. Tommy once said that he wanted his legacy to be that he put our young people first. Without question, mission accomplished.”
Atlanta City Council
“It was clear Thomas Dortch Jr. loved his community, which is why he worked so hard for it. He was a trailblazer, a community advocate, and a renowned speaker with a sharp intellect and a public servant’s heart. As we reflect on his life, we extend our most heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. The city of Atlanta will miss his inspiring example, but his life and his service to the community will always be celebrated and remembered.”
District 3 Council member Byron Amos
“I grieve today for the loss of an Atlanta icon, Mr. Thomas W. Dortch Jr., affectionately known as ‘Tommy.’ The owner of many successful businesses, including TWD Inc., Tommy lived a life of service that transversed continents. As the former national chairman of the 100 Black Men of America Inc., Tommy ushered in a standard of service that resonated throughout the organization. For more than 60 years, Tommy worked to improve the city’s economic, educational, and youth initiatives with the goal of advancing equity for African Americans. Today, we honor his life and legacy and salute him for his years of service and dedication to the city of Atlanta. Each day, his tireless work sought to build Atlanta into the beloved community that Dr. King often discussed and for that, we are thankful. He will be sorely missed.”
National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP)
Today, NCBCP mourns the passing of its esteemed chairman of the board, Thomas W. Dortch Jr. We express our deepest…
Posted by The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation on Wednesday, February 15, 2023
NCBCP President, CEO Melanie Campbell
I was blessed to not only serve alongside Tommy for over 25 years with the NCBCP Board of Directors, he was also my mentor, my brother and my friend for most of my adult life. Tommy recruited me as a student on the campus of Clark College in the early 1980’s as a volunteer to organize voter registration drives and to get involved in civil rights with the NAACP Atlanta Chapter. He supported me throughout my career and I thank God for the blessing of having met and known Tommy for over 40+ years. I will ‘never forget to remember’ Thomas W. Dortch, Jr. and will do all I can to keep his legacy alive by continuing to do the work to lift up our people.
The King Center
The King Center joins Georgia citizens, the Georgia Democratic Party, 100 Black Men of Atlanta, and several civic and faith-based organizations to mourn the tremendous loss, yet celebrate the life of Thomas W. Dortch, Jr.
Thomas Dortch Jr., affectionately known as Tommy, was a friend and advisor to The King Center’s CEO, Dr. Bernice A. King, and a consistent champion for The Center’s mission and work. He was a treasured leader with impeccable insight, which is evident by his list of awards and accolades, which includes a Presidential Citation for volunteerism. His sharp mind and critical thinking led to chairman and board positions with entities such as the 100 Black Men of American, Inc., Grady Memorial Hospital Corporation, The Atlanta Business League, Clark Atlanta University, and Talladega College.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr said, “everybody can be great because everybody can serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” The King Center is grateful for this great man, and his steadfast and compassionate servant leadership that will inspire us for generations as we cultivate The Beloved Community.