Atlanta’s oldest man dies at 105

Herbert Brimer, who met boxing icon Jack Dempsey, celebrated a birthday in July

The oldest man in Atlanta has died.

Herbert Brimer, who turned 105 on July 6, died Sept. 1.

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11 Alive reported on his milestone birthday. Brimer was born on Haywood Street and attended the legendary Tech High School. He left in 10th grade and worked as a Western Union delivery person. He remembered the famous encounters he had in his life. One included meeting heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey.

“I had the telegram to deliver to the Ansley Hotel downtown, I asked the desk clerk, if I could take it to his room, I was surprised when he said yes — so, up I went,” he said. “I knocked on the door and it opened and there he was — Jack Dempsey. I’ll never forget, enormous, he tipped me a shiny quarter.”

He planned to save the money, but he went to a movie with his brother instead.

Brimer would also never forget meeting the president. The son of a Coca-Cola salesman recalled seeing President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

“I was in Hapeville, waiting for President Roosevelt to pass through on his way to Warm Springs. We were all along the tracks and saw him sitting on the last car, he waved to all of us,” Brimer said.

In 1927, Brimer witnessed Charles Lindbergh’s arrival following his history-making transatlantic flight earlier that year. Honored by Atlanta Mayor Isaac N. Ragsdale and Georgia Governor Lamartine Hardman, Brimer recalled the feeling at then-Grant Field.

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“I remember how excited we all were when Charles Lindbergh came through Atlanta after he made it to Paris,” Brimer said.

Brimer’s life would also take him to the “Gone with the Wind” premiere, thanks to his mother. She also met the “King of Hollywood,” Clark Gable.

In 2016, Brimer turned 100. While receiving a free birthday haircut, he spoke to Pickens Progress about what it takes to live a long life.

“Stay cool,” he said. “You’ll live longer that way.”

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