Sam Massell is perhaps Buckhead’s biggest booster. But the 89-year-old former mayor and current Buckhead Coalition president has decided his final resting place will not be in the neighborhood.

Sam Massell

The Atlanta City Council voted unanimously June 5 to approve Massell’s request to be buried in historic Oakland Cemetery, the final resting place for many famous Atlantans.

Massell said he wants to be buried in the cemetery because family members and many other Atlanta mayors and political figures are buried there.
The cemetery, located on Memorial Drive, is the final resting place of 27 Atlanta mayors, including Ivan Allen Jr., Massell’s predecessor, and Maynard Jackson, the city’s first African American mayor and Massell’s successor.

For the 10 spaces requested by Massell for himself and family, the cost is only $10, but Massell will also make a donation to the Historic Oakland Foundation, a nonprofit corporation and public charity that oversees the cemetery.

The spaces were sold by the city to the foundation, which will facilitate the Massells’ burial in the lots.

The cemetery was established in 1850, and since then has become the resting place of over 70,000 people, including Margaret Mitchell, author of “Gone with the Wind”; Franklin Garrett, a prominent Atlanta historian; and golfer Robert T. “Bobby” Jones, founder of the Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, and namesake of Buckhead’s Bobby Jones Golf Course.