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Thomas W. Dortch, Jr.

Maker interview details

Profile image of Thomas W. Dortch, Jr.
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Sponsored by

100 Black Men of Atlanta


  • March 12, 2002


  • Category: CivicMakers
  • Occupation(s): Community Leader
    Association Chief Executive
    Transportation Chief Executive
    Civic Leader


  • Born: April 12, 1950
  • Birth Location: Toccoa, Georgia


  • Favorite Color: Black, Olive
  • Favorite Food: Soul Food, Chinese Food
  • Favorite Time of Year: Summer
  • Favorite Vacation Spot: Caribbean, Maui

Favorite Quote

"We make our living by what we get, we make"
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Thomas W. Dortch, Jr. was born April 12, 1950 in Toccoa, Georgia to Lizzie Dortch and Thomas W. Dortch, Sr. Dortch, Jr. went on to become an influential leader and mentor as well as a successful businessman.

After graduating from Whitman Street High School in 1968, Dortch attended Fort Valley State University in Fort Valley, Georgia and graduated with a B.A. in sociology in 1972. That year, he began his formal career by seeking to aid disenfranchised people through proposing projects for the State of Georgia. In 1974, he became the associate director of the Georgia Democratic Party. In 1978, Dortch began working as an administrative aide for U.S. Senator Sam Nunn and eventually became State Director, the first African American to serve in this position. Dortch worked tirelessly to represent the interests of small businesses, minorities, and other marginalized individuals.

Dortch became civically active during these years, and in 1986 joined 100 Black Men of America, a mentoring program intended to improve the quality of life and opportunities for education and employment for African Americans. He served as chairman of 100 Black Men of Atlanta and became the chairman of 100 Black Men of America's national board of directors. That same year, he earned his M.A. in Criminal Justice Administration from Clark Atlanta University and married Carole Dortch. He also founded the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame.

In 1994, after more than 16 years of government service, Dortch left his position to pursue his own business interests. He became CEO of the consulting firm TWD, Inc. and Atlanta Transportation Systems, Inc., a Fulton County paratransit company. He still holds both positions.

Thomas Dortch has won numerous awards highlighting his achievements, including a Presidential Citation for volunteerism, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Service Award, and the Concerned Black Clergy's Salute to Black Fathers Leadership Award. Dortch has four children.

Previews from the Digital Archive


Watch the full interview in the Digital Archive