Gov. Nathan Deal, on the death of former Gov. Carl E. Sanders Sr.: "The bond we shared was more than the mutual possession of a public office; Gov. Sanders was a mentor and friend whose bright example of compassionate leadership was unsurpassed. During his tenure as governor, he transformed Georgia by building thousands of classrooms, improving our transportation system, increasing state income and bringing a competitive spirit to the state through the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta Braves. But more than anything else, Gov. Sanders showed true leadership and character by supporting civil rights for all during a time when many were not. It is this legacy that I remember with a heavy heart today, and his lasting positive impact on our state will be felt by many future generations of Georgians."

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, on the death of businessman Herman J. Russell: Today, the City of Atlanta has lost one one the best men it has ever produced. No words can express the depth of our sorrow or fill the void created by the passing of Mr. Herman J. Russell. He is an exemplar and few men have done more to make our city a place where you can bring and build your dreams. As the founder of one of America's most successful construction and real estate businesses, Mr. Russell shattered countless barriers creating a path of greater opportunity for all of us to follow. When history catches its breath, Mr. Russell's life work will place him among the most significant heroes of the Civil Rights Movement, and the Atlanta business community because of his unwavering commitment to the forward progress of our city.

From Milton J. Little, CEO of the United Way of Metro Atlanta, on both men's passing: "The philanthropists' legacies include breaking down barriers that improved civil rights for all citizens in our region and leading efforts that expanded our community to what we now call Greater Atlanta. Carl was instrumental in helping desegregate Georgia's public schools and Herman – founder of H.J. Russell & Co., one of the most successful real estate development and construction companies in the country – became the first African-American member of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce."