ATLANTA — A beloved pillar of the Atlanta community has passed away.

Thomas Dortch Jr., a trailblazer and community leader, has died at the age of 72.

Dortch served as the chairman of 100 Black Men of America and chaired their board of directors.

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100 Black Men of America is a non-profit organization recognized as one of the top African-American led mentorship programs in the country.

Dortch, a graduate of Fort Valley State University and Clark Atlanta University, is also credited with founding the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame.

He was also a former aide to Senator Sam Nunn.


Last week, several members of the Georgia delegation spoke on the U.S. House floor to nominate him to receive the Congressional Gold Medal for his contributions to the country.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens released a statement on Wednesday evening calling him a “tireless advocate” for young people.

“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.”

—  Mayor Andre Dickens

The Atlanta City Council also released a statement in remembrance of the man with “a sharp intellect and a public servant’s heart.”

“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.”

—  Atlanta City Council

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