Bunnie Jackson-Ransom, who was married to Atlanta’s first Black mayor, Maynard Jackson, has died at age 82.

Former first lady of Atlanta, Bunnie Jackson-Ransom (Credit: NAACP / via Twitter)

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens released the following statement at 6 p.m. on Feb. 2, 2023:

“The City of Atlanta is sending prayers of comfort and peace to the family of Bunnie Jackson-Ransom. The former wife of Mayor Maynard Jackson was an incredible force of her own. She was a PR wiz and marketing pro, an educator, and an author. But perhaps most importantly, she was a wife, mother, and grandmother. I will forever remember our former First Lady for her lively spirit and the boundless energy she brought to all that she undertook. Bunnie loved this city and we loved her back. Our condolences to the Jackson and Ransom families during this time.”

According to History Makers, “Bunnie Jackson-Ransom was born on November 16, 1940 in Louisburg, North Carolina to Burnell James Hayes and Elizabeth Day Hayes. She attended North Carolina College in Durham, North Carolina, graduating magna cum laude with a B.S. degree in business and a minor in education. Jackson-Ransom then received her M.S. degree in business from North Carolina Central University School of Business and Economics in 1969.

Jackson-Ransom was hired as an instructor of business and supervisor of secretarial services at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina. She then joined Economic Opportunity Atlanta, Inc., where she was a contract specialist, program coordinator, director of planning and program development during her five-year tenure. In 1965, she met and married Maynard Jackson, who went on to become the first black mayor of Atlanta in 1973; Jackson-Ransom and Jackson divorced in 1976.”

She was a celebrated media and public relations executive who started her own company, firstClass Inc., in 1975 and went on to represent dozens of civic organizations and corporations.

Last month, Atlanta magazine named Jackson-Ransom one of 2023’s Atlanta 500 Professionals in the “legends” category.

The Atlanta History Center featured an extended interview with Jackson-Ransom filmed during the making of the 2017 documentary, Maynard.

Jackson-Ransom was a mother of four children: Beth Jackson Hodges, Brooke Jackson Edmond, Rae Yvonne Ransom and Maynard H. Jackson, III, and a grandmother.

This story comes to Rough Draft Atlanta through a reporting partnership with GPB News, a non-profit newsroom covering the state of Georgia.

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