Atlanta Mourns Death of Businessman and Community Advocate Thomas Dortch Jr.

Atlanta is in mourning after the passing of an esteemed civic leader.

According to Atlanta Daily Word, community advocate, Thomas Dortch Jr. died Wednesday at the age of 72. He was the chairman of 100 Black Men of America. The beloved businessman entered the world of politics when he worked for United States Senator Sam Nunn as an administrative aide in 1974.

His legacy was celebrated late last year when the city of Atlanta proclaimed November 7 Thomas W. Dortch Jr. Day.

Mayor Andre Dickens released a statement regarding the death of Dortch.

“This is a sad day for our city. We have lost another soldier. Tommy Dortch wasn’t born in Atlanta. He came here to attend school, and never left. And Atlanta is the better for it. Whether during his days in government or during his tenure leading 100 Black Men of Atlanta and later 100 Black Men of America, Tommy never lost sight of his mission. Long before we called it diversity, equity, and inclusion, Tommy was hard at work in that space. In matters of equity, not too much happened here that Tommy wasn’t involved in. Tommy was a connector and a facilitator. He knew how to get the right people together to make something good happen for Atlanta.”

His many accomplishments included the Presidential Citation for volunteerism by President George Bush; the Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Service Award; Concerned Black Clergy’s Salute to Black Fathers Leadership Award; Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials, Humanitarian Award; and the Fort Valley State College Alumni Hall of Fame, inductee.

Leaders across Georgia acknowledged the greatness of Dortch, including Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock, who relayed a statement via his Twitter account.

“Deeply saddened to hear my friend Thomas “Tommy” Dortch, Jr. of @100BlackMen has passed away. He was a trailblazer whose decades of leadership in the community moved Georgia forward and paved the way for so many who have come behind him. Praying for his family & many friends.”

Dortch’s activism also had a profound impact on African Americans throughout the nation, especially those within the black business community. Says BLACK ENTERPRISE CEO Earl “Butch” Graves, Jr.: “Tommy was the quintessential advocate for the economic advancement of Black-owned businesses. He will be truly missed as both a business colleague and a friend.”

Funeral services will be held at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia, 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18th.

The family request that in lieu of flowers contributions be made to: Thomas W Dortch, Jr. Foundation or National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc. P.O. Box 42118 Atlanta, Georgia 30311