From Georgia power broker to prison; ex-Sen. Charles Walker’s comeback

Nicknamed “The Hammer,” Charles Walker was a share-cropper’s son turned millionaire Augusta businessman who rose to become the Georgia Senate’s only African-American majority leader.

But the feds came after him hard in the mid-2000s, and he was convicted on mail fraud and other charges and sentenced to a decade in prison. His political career seemingly over, he spent much of his time behind bars unsuccessfully fighting his conviction.

And taking notes.

“When I was in captivity, I had a chance to think. What kept me occupied, what kept my sanity, was focusing on Charles Walker,” he said in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Where I have been, where I have come from and how I was going to fight my way out of this trap.”

Three years after his release from federal prison in Estill, S.C., he’s written one book about his experiences, “From Peanuts to Power,” and is working on a second.

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To read more about Walker’s journey from power to prison and back, check out our story on

The Sine Die 2017 edition of Georgia Legislative Week in Review with Aaron Gould Sheinin, Kristina Torres and the Phrase of the Week by James Salzer. Video by Bob Andres /

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