Cabral Franklin, son of former Mayor Shirley Franklin, has died

Staff writer Greg Bluestein contributed to this report.

Cabral Franklin, an Atlanta political operative and son of former mayor Shirley Franklin, died Tuesday from complications of cancer, his family has confirmed.

“My dear son passed away today surrounded by his family. He was deeply loved. I want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers,” Shirley Franklin said in a statement Tuesday.

Franklin — considered one of the state Democratic party’s most integral figures — was the managing partner of Franklin Communications LLC, a political communications firm. According to his online bio, he helped manage the operations of the Democratic Party of Georgia’s Coordinated Campaign, in addition to several city and state campaigns and initiatives.

Franklin is the husband of political fundraiser Candice Franklin and father to their two daughters.

"I've lost my best friend and love of my life, and the father of my daughters," Candice Franklin said in a statement. "We'll miss him and cherish his memory always. He will be in our hearts each and every day of our lives."

His longtime business partner, Chris Carpenter, said he was devastated by Franklin's sudden passing. Franklin had battled lung cancer, though he was not a smoker, since his diagnosis last year.

“All politics aside, he just understood people and politics better than any person I’ve ever known. He just got it, and so bright and talented,” Carpenter said, adding: “It’s a huge loss for the city of Atlanta and the state of Georgia.”

Former gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter described Franklin as one of his best friends in politics and a “brilliant political mind.”

“I honestly would not do anything without running it by Cabral and that’s the same advice I gave to everyone else who ever came to me for political advice,” Carter said. “I miss him enormously.”

For more on Franklin’s life and work, and recollections from those who knew him, visit

Online condolences: Read and sign the AJC's online guestbook for Cabral Franklin