Statement by John B. Smith, Sr. on the death of Jesse Hill, Jr.
By Staff Writer
The passing of Jesse Hill, Jr. leaves a huge void in the body politic and societal fabric of Atlanta, the state of Georgia, the nation, and the world. Mr. Hill gave of his seemingly boundless talents and energy to causes great and small that changed the quality of life for communities and individuals alike.
When he was not advising a President, Congressman, Mayor or legislator, Jesse was helping a business, civic or political leader plot a course for progress. But, equally important to Jesse was the “unimportant” person who needed someone to save the day for him or her. Jesse was very often that someone. Quietly and without any public notice, Jesse would extend the helping hand that made the difference – for the moment or perhaps for a lifetime. He seemed to be everywhere at once, partly because he some-times stayed just long enough to steer things in the right direction, then move on to the next big challenge.
It was during the turbulent decades of Atlanta’s moving to racial and commercial progressiveness that Jesse’s light shown brightest. It was during the early days of this period that he was publisher of The Atlanta Inquirer newspaper – the mantle which I now proudly wear. The world has lost one of its best and brightest.