top of page


Anchor 1


Paul Anderson grew up in Toccoa, and played football at Furman University, where he began lifting weights. He eventually left Furman to pursue his weightlifting career, and went on to become one of the most successful and popular powerlifters ever. A true pioneer in the sport of powerlifting, he was two-time U.S. National Champion, Gold Medalist in the 1956 Olympics, and held 18 American and nine world records. He is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the first man to top 1100 pounds in the Olympic Triathlon with a best of 1175 pounds, earning him the title of “World’s Strongest Man.” The Paul Anderson Youth Home in Vidalia that he founded in 1961 continues to care for troubled young men from all over the country. In July 2019, an episode of the History Channel show “The Strongest Man in History” featured Paul Anderson and several of his historic feats of strength.

Anchor 2


J.K. “Doc” Harper was from Elbert County, but became a South Georgia coaching icon at Thomasville High School. An outstanding athlete himself, Harper was a letter winner in both baseball and football at The University of Georgia in 1919 and 1920. He served as a teacher and coach at Thomasville from 1923 to 1940. In 17 seasons as football coach, he compiled a 105-42-14 record. He was also an outstanding basketball, baseball, and track coach while at Thomasville. A pioneering figure in high school sports, Harper helped sponsor the Southwest Georgia Athletic Association which became the organizational model for statewide regions for athletics.

Anchor 3


Mary Dorothy “Dot” Kirby was born in West Point and attended Washington Seminary in Atlanta. Howard “Pop” Beckett introduced her to the game of golf at the Capital City Club. Kirby went on to become one of the most consistent women golfers in the country during the 1940s and 1950s. She was a two-time runner up in the Women’s Amateur Championship and won it in 1951 which was her greatest gold accomplishment. She won the Georgia Women’s Amateur Championship five times and was selected to the U.S. Curtis Cup team four times. She also claimed titles in the Southern Amateur and North-South Tournament. She is a member of the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame.

Anchor 4


Martin W. “Marty” Marion was born in Richburg, South Carolina and grew up in Atlanta. He attended Tech High School and went on to play baseball at Georgia Tech. He began his career as a major-leaguer in 1940 with the St. Louis Cardinals. He remained in St. Louis his entire career, playing for both Cardinals and the Browns between 1940 and 1953. Marion was an eight-time All-Star and three-time World Series Champion during his playing career. Despite Marion’s glowing reputation, it was a surprise when sportswriters named him the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 1944. He batted only .267 with 63 RBI, both figures still the lowest for any MVP. But his work with the glove was amazing. The slick fielder dazzled the fans and the sportswriters too which led to his winning the MVP. After his playing days, Marion was a major league manager for the Cardinals, Browns, and White Sox between 1951 and 1956. He is a member of the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame.

Anchor 5


Jim Parker started his football career at Ballard Hudson High School in Macon before his family moved to Ohio during his sophomore season. He went on to sign a football scholarship at Ohio State where he was an All-America. In 1956, he moved to the NFL with the Baltimore Colts where he became one of the dominant offensive lineman in the league. During his 10-year NFL career, Parker was a five-time Pro Bowl selection as Offensive Tackle, and after switching to Guard, he was named to three more Pro Bowl teams. Parker was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1974, and was a charter inductee in Ohio State's Hall Of Fame in 1977. In 1999 Parker was selected as a first-team offensive guard on the Sports Illustrated college-football All-Century team. He also is a member of the Pro football Hall of Fame.

Anchor 6


Everett Strupper was born in Columbus and attended high school at Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville. He played football at Georgia Tech from 1915 to 1917 where he was three-time All-Southern performer and part of the 1917 National Championship team. Strupper was one of the greatest running backs of his era and was one of the first players from the Deep South to be named a consensus first-team All-American. A great all-around athlete, he also played baseball, basketball, and ran track at Tech. He is a member of the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame as well as the College Football Hall of Fame.

bottom of page