Shirley Clarke Franklin became the first African American female mayor of a major southern city on January 7, 2002, when she began her term as the 58th mayor of Atlanta, Georgia. Franklin was elected to a second term and served as mayor until 2009. She was preceded by Bill Campbell as mayor and succeeded by Kasim Reed. Franklin was born on May 10, 1945 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and after graduating from high school attended Howard University and received her B.A. in sociology.
She received her M.A. in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. Franklin worked for two of Atlanta’s most well known mayors, Maynard Jackson and Andrew Young. As they did, Franklin also left her leadership mark on The ATL (she was selected by Time magazine in 2005 as one of America’s best big city mayors). Franklin currently serves as the Chairman of the Board and CEO of Purpose Built Communities and is the Professor in Ethics and Political Values at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.