Lester Garfield Maddox, Sr. (September 30, 1915 – June 25, 2003), was an American politician who was the 75th Governor of the U.S. state of Georgia from 1967 to 1971. A populist Democrat, Maddox came to prominence as a staunch segregationist when he refused to serve black customers in his Atlanta restaurant, in defiance of the Civil Rights Act. Yet as Governor, he oversaw notable improvements in black employment. Later he served as Lieutenant Governor under Jimmy Carter.
Maddox was born in Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, the second of seven children born to Dean Garfield Maddox, a steelworker, and his wife, the former Flonnie Castleberry. Maddox left school shortly before graduation to help support the family by taking odd jobs, including real estate and grocery. He received his high school diploma through correspondence courses.
In 1944, Maddox, along with his wife, the former Hattie Virginia Cox (1918–1997), used $400 in savings to open a combination grocery store and restaurant called Lester's Grill. Building on that success, the couple then bought property on Hemphill Avenue off the Georgia Tech campus to open up the Pickrick Restaurant...
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