For the past 15 years, Dick Yarbrough has gained a large following with his syndicated newspaper column which reaches some 600,000 households and more than 1.3 million readers each week throughout Georgia. The Georgia Press Association has twice named his column “Most Humorous”. SOME Politicians don’t think he is very funny. Most people do. James magazine, the leading political publication in the state, recently named him one of Georgia’s “power brokers” for 2013 and described him as “a sort of Mark Twain of Georgia.”
Yarbrough is known as a strong advocate for improving public education. He also continues to push for stronger ethics legislation in the state. In 2012, he received the Democracy Award from Common Cause Georgia. “Dick Yarbrough has been a staunch supporter and advocate of meaningful ethics reform for our state and has humorously and effectively kept the issue alive in the hearts and minds of Georgia citizens,” said William Perry, Executive Director of Common Cause Georgia.
In March, 2013, Gov. Nathan deal named Dick Yarbrough to the recently revamped state board of juvenile justice.
Before becoming a syndicated columnist, Yarbrough labored for over 40 years on the corporate side of the fence. He retired from Bellsouth Corporation as vice president in 1993 and then joined the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games as managing director, reporting directly to CEO Billy Payne. During his career Yarbrough has received many honors. PR WEEK, an industry publication, named him one of The 100 Most Influential Public Relations Practitioners of the 20th Century. Georgia Trend magazine twice identified him as one of the 100 Most Powerful and Influential People in the State of Georgia. The Georgia Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America elected him to the Order of the Phoenix, their highest award, and to membership in their Hall of Fame.
A 1959 graduate of the University of Georgia, Dick Yarbrough is past president of the National Alumni Association and received their highest honor, the Distinguished Alumni Award. The Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia has named him their Outstanding Graduate and has established a room in his honor at the school, the C. Richard Yarbrough Laboratory. He was also named a Fellow of the College in 2009. In April, 2013, Dick Yarbrough announced the creation of the C. Richard Yarbrough chair in crisis communications leadership at the Grady College, the first of its kind in the nation.
When not skewering politicians and twitting the humorless, Dick Yarbrough devotes his spare time to his growing reputation as an artist.
He and his wife, Jane, live in Vinings, where she tries to make him eat broccoli.