1/51 Ralph McGill.

Ralph McGill was the Pulitzer Prize-winning editor of the Atlanta Constitution.

After working as sports editor for the Nashville Banner, McGill moved to Atlanta in 1929 to become assistant sports editor of the Constitution. Shifting from sports to news in the 1930s, McGill’s coverage of serious events led to his promotion to executive editor in 1938.

McGill used his position to highlight the effects of segregation, earning him the nickname “Conscience of the South.” For much of his career, McGill was a lone voice, breaking the white code of polite silence about racial discrimination and segregation. Angered readers sent threats to McGill, some burning crosses on his lawn at night and firing bullets into his home.

Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded to Ralph McGill by President Lyndon Johnson, 1964

Object: Courtesy of Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University

Image: Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center, Bill Wilson Photographs

Next: 2 Hank Aaron.

When Hank Aaron arrived in Atlanta with the Braves in 1966, he was already one of baseball’s most successful sluggers.