Magazine article National Urban League. The State of Black America

In Memoriam: David McCoy Franklin

Magazine article National Urban League. The State of Black America

In Memoriam: David McCoy Franklin

Article excerpt

David McCoy Franklin was an entrepreneur and one of the entertainment industry's most successful attorneys. The Atlanta native was also a savvy political campaign organizer who played an integral role in the 1973 election of Atlanta's first black mayor, Maynard Jackson.

Franklin was born in Atlanta, where he was raised by his mother and grandmother. He graduated from Atlanta's Turner High School and attended Morehouse College. After graduating from Morehouse, he relocated to Washington, D. C, where he worked for the Department of Labor and attended the American University Washington College of Law at night. It was also during his years in the District that he met his future wife - and a future mayor of Atlanta - Shirley Franklin, then a student at Howard University.

After passing the D.C. Bar, Franklin began his career managing entertainers. While still in the District, he met Donny Hathaway, then an up-and-coming musician, and agreed to handle his business matters. He displayed strong negotiating skills while managing Hathaway's career and soon gained a reputation in the entertainment industry of attaining lucrative deals for performers. High-profile stars began to seek his services, and his clientele included Roberta Flack, Gladys Knight, Lou Gossett, Luther Vandross, Peabo Bryson and Richard Pryor. It was said that Franklin was the first black attorney to negotiate six-figure deals for his clients.

He returned back to his hometown of Atlanta during the early 1970s, where he began another successful career as a political campaigner. …

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