Reactions to the death of Herman J. Russell

The death Saturday of Atlanta business pioneer and philanthrophist Herman J. Russell brought a swell of reaction on social media and other channels:

“He was elated and proud of the fact that he was able to share his legacy with others and, most importantly, his grandchildren. Herman Russell had a major impact on many of us and he lived a great life.”

—- Michael Russell, son of Herman Russell and CEO of H.J. Russell & Co.

“R.I.P. Herman J. Russell. Continue to construct great buildings in heaven.”

—-Tweet from state Rep. Dar’shun Kendrick, D-Lithonia, @DarshunKendrick

“The country has lost a GIANT, Herman J. Russell. We should pray to have even a fraction of the impact he had on the lives of others!”

—-Tweet from DeKalb County Interim CEO Lee May, @LeeMay.

“Herman Russell understood the role of businesspeople in the journey toward social justice.”

—- Tweet from state Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, @Senatorfort

“He was not just a businessman and not just a civic leader. He was a gentleman.”

—- Sam Massell, a former Atlanta mayor who is now president of the Buckhead Coalition

“Today our state lost a true legend with the passing of Herman J. Russell. For me personally, he was a friend, mentor, and someone I aspired to emulate. For our community, he was an inspiration, a catalyst for change and a positive force that made our city, region and state what it is today. Herman Russell’s success is indelible proof that Georgia is indeed a place where all are welcome and where all can succeed. His legacy will live on in the projects he built, the family he raised, and the people he touched throughout his life.”

—-Ernest Greer, chairman of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and vice president and Atlanta managing shareholder at law firm Greenberg Traurig

“He was one of the Giants of our time. In every phase of Atlanta development from Hartsfield to the present, he was a major and dominant influence. Like Atlanta, he started off with a little shoe shine stand, now his company is a major influence in everything happening in the city. He had a good mind and sharp pencil.”

—- Andrew Young, former Atlanta mayor and ambassador to the United Nations

“He is one of the best men our city has ever produced. I can’t express how much we will miss him.”

—- Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed

“Herman’s spirit permeated the community. He was a great citizen, a great business man and a brother. I loved him and he will be missed.”

—- Civil rights icon The Rev. Joseph Lowery

“Herman Russell was involved in every major decision that affected this city for 60 years. He knew how to communicate with business and political leaders between the races to resolve conflicts and pursue opportunities that make Atlanta the envy of major cities across the globe.”

—- Sam A. Williams, retired president of the Metro Atlanta Chamber

Staff writers Ernie Suggs, Eric Stirgus and Katie Leslie contributed to this report.

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