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The Honorable Alford Dempsey, Jr.

County Superior Court Judge Alford J. Dempsey, Jr. was born on March 19, 1947 in Atlanta, Georgia to his parents Alford J. Dempsey, Sr. and Maenelle Dempsey. His father served in the U.S. Army and was assigned to General Eisenhower's honor guard in Europe after World War II. While growing up, Dempsey wanted to join the military to emulate his father. His mother was an educator who worked for the State of Georgia’s Department of Education, developing schools in African American communities throughout Georgia. In 1965, Dempsey graduated from New Hampton School, a boarding school in New Hampshire where he played football, basketball, and baseball. Dempsey entered Columbia University that same year as a pre-med student. While at Columbia, Dempsey participated in the 1968 student protests. He later transferred to Morehouse College in Atlanta where he graduated with honors with his B.A. degree in economics in 1972 and in 1976, Dempsey earned his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School.

Dempsey began his legal career working on Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign. He later became assistant city attorney for the City of Atlanta’s Department of Law. In 1992, Dempsey was named judge of the Magistrate Court of Fulton County/State Court in Atlanta. He was appointed by Fulton County State Court Chief Clarence Coopers. In 1995, Dempsey was then appointed to the Fulton County Superior Court by Governor Zell Miller where he presided over civil and felony criminal cases. Dempsey was also instrumental in the development and implementation of the Fulton County Family Court. Dempsey has presided over many high profile cases throughout his career including the case involving the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and allegations of misspending by its leadership.

Dempsey has served as a member of a number of professional legal organizations, including the American Judges Association, the American Judicature Society, the Atlanta Bar Association (Past Chair Judicial Section), the Bleckley Inn of Court, the Gate City Bar Association (Immediate Past Chair Judicial Section), and the National Bar Association.

Dempsey has also been active in numerous community organizations including serving as the District Chair of the South Atlanta District of the Boy Scouts of America, a Board member and past president of the Board of Carrie Steele-Pitts Home and a Board member of Sisters By Choice, Inc.

Alford J. Dempsey, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 20, 2011.

Accession Number

A2011.019

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

4/20/2011

Last Name

Dempsey

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widower

Middle Name

J.

Schools

Oglethorpe Elementary School

Washington High School

New Hampton Community School

Columbia University

Morehouse College

Harvard Law School

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Alford

Birth City, State, Country

Atlanta

HM ID

DEM01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Italy

Favorite Quote

If washing don't get you, the rinsing sure will.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

3/19/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Snapper (Twice-Baked)

Short Description

County superior court judge The Honorable Alford Dempsey, Jr. (1947 - ) has been the presiding judge of the Fulton County Superior Court in Atlanta, Georgia and was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Fulton County Family Court.

Employment

City of Atlanta Deparment of Law

Magistrate Court of Fulton County/State Court Presiding Judge

Superior Court of Fulton County

Favorite Color

Green

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Alford Dempsey's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Alford Dempsey relates stories from his father

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Alford Dempsey talks about his father's education and career in the U.S. Military

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Alford Dempsey discusses his father's experience with segregation in the U.S. Army

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Alford Dempsey talks about his mother's career, educational background and mother's side of the family in Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Alford Dempsey describes his maternal family in Noonan, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Alford Dempsey describes his parents' marriage and his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Alford Dempsey talks about his birthplace, his adopted sibling, and the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Alford Dempsey describes the neighborhood where he spent his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Alford Dempsey talks about the Scott family, owners of the Atlanta Daily World, as well as his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Alford Dempsey describes his family's church, First Congregational Church in Atlanta, and his activities as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Alford Dempsey talks about his participation in sports and his experience attending Washington High School and New Hampton Boarding School

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Alford Dempsey talks about the New Hampton Boarding School in New Hampshire

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Alford Dempsey talks about his student activities and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Alford Dempsey describes his experience at the New Hampton Boarding School

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Alford Dempsey discusses how he chose Columbia University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Alford Dempsey describes his difficulties as a student at Columbia University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Alford Dempsey talks about his academic performance and student activities

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Alford Dempsey describes the 1968 Columbia University student protest

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Alford Dempsey describes the differences between the two 1968 Columbia student protests

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Alford Dempsey describes his band, the Soul Syndicate, and the famous musicians he met in New York and Atlanta

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Alford Dempsey recalls his time working at the Bird Cage Restaurant and Lounge in Atlanta

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Alford Dempsey discusses meeting his wife, Colleen

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Alford Dempsey talks about leaving Columbia University to attend Morehouse College

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Alford Dempsey describes his time between graduating from Morehouse College, and attending Harvard Law School

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Alford Dempsey talks about his twin daughters, Audrey and Angela, and his grandchildren

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Alford Dempsey discusses attending Harvard University Law School and his job search

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Alford Dempsey describes his work for the Atlanta City Attorney's Office

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Alford Dempsey discusses the Minority and Female Business Enterprise Program and Maynard Jackson's impact as Mayor of Atlanta

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Alford Dempsey talks about the Atlanta Child Murders in 1979 and his son Alford James Dempsey, III

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Alford Dempsey describes his work for the City of Atlanta, teaching at Atlanta University and his private practice

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Alford Dempsey discusses his appointment to the magistrate court of Fulton County, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Alford Dempsey talks about leaving the City Attorney's Office and his relationship with Hamilton E. Holmes

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Alford Dempsey describes his experience as a judge in the Fulton County Superior Court

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Alford Dempsey talks about the Olympic bombing in Atlanta and the events of September 11, 2001

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Alford Dempsey discusses his wife's battle with breast cancer

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Alford Dempsey describes his work with the organization, Sisters by Choice

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Alford Dempsey describes his life and projects after the death of his wife

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Alford Dempsey describes the Brian Nichols courthouse shooting incident in Atlanta

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Alford Dempsey continues his discussion of Atlanta's Brian Nichols

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Alford Dempsey talks about his board affiliations, public service and charitable organizations

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Alford Dempsey discusses his legacy, goals and objectives

Larry Dingle

Larry Dingle was born in rural Dillon, South Carolina, on June 26, 1949. Dingle was an agent of change in his hometown of Dillon, South Carolina; he desegregated the high school closest to his home. From there, Dingle attended Morehouse College to pursue his undergraduate education; he transferred to Georgia State University, where he was awarded his B.A. degree in 1974, and his J.D. degree in 1987, enabling him to practice law.

Dingle was a police officer for the City of Atlanta and then worked for the City of Atlanta from 1969 to 1990 as a department head and Clerk of Council. It is in this capacity that Dingle gained the confidence and support of then Mayors Maynard Jackson and Andrew Young as a civil servant of considerable talent. From 1990 to 1997, Dingle worked as a partner at the law firm of Peterson, Dillard, Young, Asselin and Powell. Dingle later became a partner at Wilson, Brock, and Irby, L.L.C., where he earned great prestige through his representation of clients such as Sax Fifth Avenue.

Dingle served on the Board of Directors of Southeast Energy; the Bank of North Georgia; Central Fulton Senior Services; and Georgia State University’s Board of Visitors. Dingle was a member of the Georgia Bar Association for twenty years. In 1990, Dingle co-authored Major Land Use Laws in Georgia, which was published by the National Business Institute, Inc. Dingle earned distinction in the City of Atlanta as a civil servant and attorney and was recognized nationally for contributions to the practice of law.

Accession Number

A2005.178

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/1/2005

Last Name

Dingle

Marital Status

Married

Schools

Latta Elementary School

Morehouse College

Georgia State University

First Name

Larry

Birth City, State, Country

Dillon

HM ID

DIN03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Casa De Campo

Favorite Quote

I'm Doing Okay For A Farm Boy From South Carolina.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

6/26/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Calamari

Short Description

City government administrator and administrative lawyer Larry Dingle (1949 - ) served as Clerk of Council for the City of Atlanta, and became nationally known for his activities as a civil servant and attorney.

Employment

City of Atlanta

Wilson Brock & Irby, L.L.C.

Dillard, Westmoreland and Wilson

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:2119,35:2443,40:4630,90:24648,381:25240,469:36984,611:37552,619:40543,677:43240,731:43588,736:45415,768:46024,776:46459,782:47503,796:52075,838:69230,1112:82615,1263:83140,1272:94067,1428:99739,1484:100307,1493:100662,1499:101017,1505:106058,1611:120400,1791$0,0:108700,1529
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Larry Dingle's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Larry Dingle lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Larry Dingle talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Larry Dingle talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Larry Dingle describes his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Larry Dingle describes Carolina S, one of his ancestors

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Larry Dingle recalls his earliest memories of growing up in Dillon County, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Larry Dingle recalls childhood summers in Dillon County, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Larry Dingle lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Larry Dingle recalls his childhood street in South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Larry Dingle describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in Dillon County, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Larry Dingle recalls desegregating Latta High School in Latta, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Larry Dingle recalls his childhood mentor

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Larry Dingle recalls seeing Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on TV

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Larry Dingle describes integrating his high school and struggling with reading

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Larry Dingle describes his childhood church

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Larry Dingle recalls an exchange with a high school teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Larry Dingle talks about playing basketball at Latta High School in Latta, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Larry Dingle talks about his extracurricular activities as a teenager

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Larry Dingle describes aspiring to become a lawyer

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Larry Dingle talks about his decision to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Larry Dingle talks about his initial impressions of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Larry Dingle talks about leaving Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia and becoming a police officer

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Larry Dingle talks about negotiating with Mayor Maynard Jackson as an Atlanta police officer

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Larry Dingle talks about attending Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia for undergraduate and law school

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Larry Dingle talks about his exit strategy after finishing law school

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Larry Dingle talks about his family and offers advice on parenting

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Larry Dingle talks about law connections he made over the years

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Larry Dingle reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Larry Dingle talks about memorable court cases

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Larry Dingle talks about voting rights

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Larry Dingle reflects on rights and the importance of voting

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Larry Dingle talks about his passion for elderly and youth issues

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Larry Dingle reflects upon his life

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Larry Dingle offers advice for those interested in pursuing law careers

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Larry Dingle talks about his hopes for the future

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Larry Dingle reflects on what he would do differently

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Larry Dingle describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Larry Dingle talks about rap music

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Larry Dingle reflects upon his values

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Larry Dingle reflects on lessons for his children and the importance of history

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Larry Dingle describes his role as Clerk of Council in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Larry Dingle recalls memories of former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$2

DAStory

3$7

DATitle
Larry Dingle describes aspiring to become a lawyer
Larry Dingle talks about negotiating with Mayor Maynard Jackson as an Atlanta police officer
Transcript
So let's say that junior [year] of high school, at that point, were you beginning to know what you wanted to be? Did you have any particular ambitions?$$I had always professed starting at the age of fourteen or fifteen that I was going to be a lawyer. And the interesting reason or the interesting thing about what motivates you, I can't remember the, the man's name, but he had attended Howard University [Washington, D.C.] from Dillon County [South Carolina]. And Howard at that time, and I still think today, is an extraordinary institution, but then, that was about the only place that I knew of that an African American could get a law degree. And this fella had been accepted into How--into Howard's law school. And the talk around the tobacco barn for the several weeks preceding his acceptance at Howard was just phenomenal, that people spoke of him as almost, almost as if he were god-like. You would've thought he were Apollo, you know, and so I just thought, well gee whiz, if being a lawyer is that some--is a type of thing that causes these women around this tobacco barn to be so filled with that much adoration, it's gotta be something I gotta do. And I hung--that idea hung with me for a long time, that it was just a concept of creating a sense of academic self that would be worthy of adoration. And coming off to Atlanta [Georgia], as we mentioned earlier, I met some extraordinary people who were in that profession, The Honorable Clarence Cooper, federal district court judge here, one of those who encouraged that, [HM] Marvin Arrington, [HM] Carl Ware, a host of other people who encouraged that--the pursuit of that goal. But, you know, back then it was just the idea of having my grandmomma [Charity Dingle] and the folks around the barn think highly of me.$And that was definitely a, a very vital moment in Atlanta's [Georgia] history. Mayor [Maynard] Jackson definitely was a trailblazer. What were your experiences or your interactions with him like?$$Well, the first time I met him was in 1968 when he was running for [U.S.] Senate, he came onto Morehouse College [Atlanta, Georgia] campus, very handsome, very eloquent, very bright man. And the second time I was able to meet him was as a police officer; this was I think around 1970. He had been elected vice mayor of the city and we were engaged in I guess combat, if you will, with the police administration about the absence of fair testing in the police department, the absence of the advancement of African Americans within the Atlanta core. And a group of us got together. I can't remember all of the people, but the two leaders of the group or one of the leaders of the group, well two I'd say, were Floyd Reeves and C.C. Mitchell [ph.], the late C.C. Mitchell. And we decided we'd go to Maynard's home at two o'clock in the morning. He lived on 2nd Avenue or off 2nd Avenue in southeast Atlanta, not exactly the greatest time to knock on somebody's door to make a--an impression, but we knocked on his door at two in the morning. He answered it. He talked to us for an hour and a half, made promises to us, every one of which he kept, and to this day is one of my, I think, a hero to a lot of people because he just believed in doing what was right and causing to be done what was right under those circumstances.