In 1890, Samuel Warren and Louis D. Brandeis, both at that time practicing attorneys in Boston, published an article in the Harvard Law Review, "The Right of Privacy", which is generally regarded as the most influential law journal article ever published in the United States. Warren and Brandeis argued for legal recognition of a right in tort not previously acknowledged by any English or American court. Though judicial acceptance of the right of privacy was gradual and very uneven, every jurisdiction in the United States eventually became persuaded of its importance. The Georgia Supreme Court led the way in 1904, with its decision in the Pavesich case ( Pavesich v. New England Life Ins. Co., 122 Ga. 190 [ 1904]).
Action for damages. Before Judge Reid. City court of Atlanta. May 14, 1904.
Paolo Pavesich brought an action against the New England Mutual Life Insurance Company, a non-resident corporation, Thomas B. Lumpkin, its general agent, and J. Q. Adams, a photographer, both residing in the city of Atlanta. The allegations of the petition were, in substance, as follows: In an issue of the Atlanta Constitution, a newspaper published in the city of Atlanta, there appeared a likeness of the plaintiff, which would be easily recognized by his friends and acquaintances, placed by the side of the likeness of an ill-dressed and sickly looking person. Above the likeness of the plaintiff were the words, "Do it now. The man who did." Above the likeness of the other person were the words, "Do it while you can. The man who didn't." Below the two pictures were the words, "These two pictures tell their own story." Under the plaintiff's picture the following appeared: "In my healthy and productive period of life I bought insurance in the New England Mutual Life Insurance Co., of Boston, Mass., and to-day my family is protected and I am drawing an annual dividend on my paid-up policies." Under the other person's picture was a statement to the effect that he had not taken insurance, and now realized his mistake. The statements were signed, " Thomas B. Lumpkin, General Agent." The picture of the plaintiff was taken from a negative obtained by the defendant Lumpkin, or some one by him authorized, from the defendant Adams, which was used with his consent