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Sam Massell papers

Collection number: ahc.MSS695

Scope and Content

This collection contains a wide variety of material on the life and career of Sam Massell, Jr. It offers an excellent look at the careers of Sam Massell both as a political figure and as a businessman. There is also information relating to the many civic, political, and business organizations in which Sam Massell was involved. There are thirteen different series with topics such as Civil Rights, speeches, political information, trips, news releases, etc.


  • 1889-1983, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Administrative/Biographical History

Sam Massell (1927- ) was born in Atlanta, Georgia to Samuel A. Massell (1892-1961) and Florence Rubin (1901-1977). He has lived in Atlanta continuously except for his tour of duty in the Army Air Forces in World War II. Prior to serving in public office, Sam Massell was the Vice President of Allan-Grayson Realty Company where he built a successful career as a realtor, working in commercial property development over a period of eighteen years. During that time he was active in numerous civic groups and served as an officer or on the board of over forty-five different organizations. He married Doris Middlebrooks (1925-2015) in 1952, and the couple had three children, Cindy, Steven, and Melanie. In 1961, Sam Massell was elected in a city-wide race to the office of Vice Mayor and President of the Board of Aldermen, to which he was re-elected four years later. During this time, his interestes were in the area of human relations and environmental reforms, resulting in the creation of Atlanta's Community Relations Commission and assistance in development of Atlanta's Civic Design Commission. In October 1969, Sam Massell was elected Mayor of Atlanta, receiving one of the largest votes recorded for office. He served one term as Mayor before returning to private life and the real estate business.


61.5 linear ft.



Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Audio recordings made on audio cassettes can be made accessible only through conversion to digital audio. Patrons who request access to the audio content in this collection are responsible for digital conversion costs. The Great Speckled Bird interview has been digitized and is linked.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 1991

Sam Massell papers
Paul Crater
February 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305