“My family is forever grateful for Mr. Cook’s bravery and righteous fervor in defense of my father during a very frightening and difficult time,” Atlanta City Councilman Michael Julian Bond said in a news release. “He possessed a type of courage that cannot be taught but from which much can be learned. This city is a better place because of Mr. Cook’s effort.”
Cook ran for other offices, including mayor in 1969 and governor in 1978. Though he lost his bid for mayor to Sam Massell, the two worked together on several occasions.
“Although we were opponents in a mayor’s race, I’m of the opinion he, too, would have made a good mayor,” Massell, president of the Buckhead Coalition, said in a statement. “I had great respect for his intelligence and his integrity, which made him very valuable to Atlanta’s progress and prosperity.”
Amid his political career, Cook, an Atlanta native and Naval veteran, was also a family man. He married the former Bettijo Hogan and the couple had three children. They eventually divorced and in the late 1970s he married Sidney Adamson Cook, who died in the early 2000s. On Thanksgiving Day 2003, he married Lane Young Cook.
In addition to his wife and son, Cook is survived by daughters Jody Cook and Laura Cook of Atlanta; and three grandchildren.
AJC articles about Rodney Cook Sr.