May 2013: Dick Yarbrough Named One of Georgia’s ‘Power Brokers for 2013’
James Magazine, which is the leading political publication in the state just named Dick one of the state’s Power Brokers for 2013. In the article, they say, “This former BellSouth vice president has in his retirement years become a sort of Mark Twain of Georgia. He’s a writer who often states his serious points with biting wit and does so to a large, laughing readership.”
April 2013: Commissioner Avery D. Niles confirmed the appointments of Mr. Fred E. Stephens and Mr. Dick Yarbrough to the Georgia Board of Juvenile Justice.
July 2011: Dick’s First Gallery Opening
Dick held his first art exhibition at the Earl Smith Strand Theatre on July 1st, 2011.
2011: Dick Receives an Award
Dick was the Georgia Press Association’s 2011 winner of the ‘Best Humor Column’ award.
July 15, 2004: Atlanta
Mercer Press has announced an agreement with Atlanta Olympic insider Dick Yarbrough for a book that will explore the impact of the 1996 Olympic Games in the decade that has followed. “Was It Worth It? The Atlanta Games Ten Years Later” is scheduled to be released by the Macon-based publisher in July 2006 to coincide with the 10th Anniversary of the Centennial Olympic Games.
Yarbrough, who served as managing director of communications and government relations for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG), penned a first-person account of his experiences on the 1996 Olympics (And They Call Them Games; Mercer, 1997).
“Dick Yarbrough wrote an extraordinary behind-the-scenes look at how this massive event was staged,” says Marc Jolley, director of Mercer Press. “We thought it would be natural to have him examine what has happened to the City of Atlanta and to all who were a part of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games in the decade since the Games were held. Where are the people today? What is their opinion of the effort ten years later? Did having the Olympic Games in Atlanta make a difference? Would they do it again? Dick Yarbrough is the perfect combination of writer and insider to capture answers to these questions. His honest approach to reviewing Atlanta’s Olympic experiences will be required reading to any city that might bid for the Games in the future.”
Yarbrough says the new book will draw from first-hand interviews with many of the people who shaped the Games, from ACOG CEO Billy Payne and the organization’s chief operating officer, A.D. Frazier, to the original volunteers, key staff members, influential political figures, Olympic officials, athletes, spectators, members of the media and many of the special interest groups that tried to use the 1996 Games to highlight their issues. Yarbrough also will explore the impact of the Games on communities like Gainesville, Savannah and Conyers that built facilities and hosted events, and on small towns like Ellijay and LaGrange that provided training facilities for athletes from around the world and whose families invited the athletes into their homes.
“Having had ten years to think about it,” Yarbrough said, “I am interested in what kind of legacy the Games left to our state. I want to know what worked and what didn’t work and I want to hear it from those involved. I want to revisit some of the issues, such as the Olympic Park bombing, the Olympics Out of Cobb campaign, and the City of Atlanta’s performance.”
Endorsing Yarbrough’s effort is Billy Payne, who spearheaded the effort to bring the 1996 Games to Atlanta. “The Games vaulted Atlanta into a very elite group of cities, on a global scale,” says Payne, “Naturally, I think it was worth every minute and every dollar that we spent bringing them here and hosting the world, and I look forward to Dick’s assessment.”
“Billy Payne and his colleagues worked incredibly hard to bring the Games to Atlanta,” says Yarbrough. “Now that we have some historical distance on the event, it is time to take a hard look at its true legacy – what it meant to the people of this state and the changes it left behind. As for the title, I don’t know the answer yet. That’s what is going to make this book so interesting to write.”
June 2004: In Memoriam
Ray Charles: 1930-2004
Dick was a huge fan of Ray’s and made reference to him in 14 of his columns, including this one written in March 2002. Read other past columns in the Archives section.