8 famous former students of Atlanta’s David T. Howard School

The David T. Howard Building opened in 1923 as an elementary school on property donated by its namesake, a former slave who founded Atlanta’s first black-owned bank.

In 1948, the sprawling brick building became a high school where some of the city’s high-profile African-American leaders were educated.

It closed in 1976.

This summer, more than four decades after its last students roamed the hallways, Atlanta Public Schools plans to begin a $52 million renovation and construction project to reopen the building as a middle school.

Future Atlanta students will be part of a long legacy of leaders who attended the school, including these eight prominent former students:

1. Maynard Jackson, first African-American mayor of Atlanta

Credit: Charles Pugh

Credit: Charles Pugh

2. Walt “Clyde” Frazier, NBA star and basketball hall of famer 

Frazier graduated from Howard High School in 1963.

Credit: Anonymous

Credit: Anonymous

 3. Eldrin Bell, former Atlanta police chief and Clayton County Commission chairman

4. Mildred McDaniel Singleton, a high jumper and the only U.S. woman to win a gold medal at the 1956 Olympics in track and field

 5. Lonnie King, student civil rights organizer who helped launch the Atlanta Student Movement 

6. Vernon Jordan, adviser to President Bill Clinton and former president of the National Urban League

Credit: KHUE BUI

Credit: KHUE BUI

7. Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights leader

King attended third through sixth grades, from 1936 to 1940, at the Howard school.

Credit: Flip Schulke

Credit: Flip Schulke

8. Herman Russell, real estate entrepreneur and first black member of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.

His company was involved in building major Atlanta projects such as the Georgia-Pacific headquarters, Philips Arena, Coca-Cola Headquarters and the Georgia Dome.

Credit: HANDOUT

Credit: HANDOUT

For more on the Howard school renovation project, read the full story here on MyAJC.com.