Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fond Farewell

The Russell Library was sad to hear news this morning of Erwin Mitchell's passing. Our staff would like to extend heartfelt condolences to his family. Borrowing words from the title of his obituary article in the Dalton Citizen, "He was just the coolest guy" and will certainly be missed.

Mr. Mitchell has made several appearances on the Russell Library blog in the last several years. First in one of our early "Outside the Box" posts, spotlighting the AMVETS silver helmet award he received in 1960. Also, in a feature post about the Georgia Project Papers in 2009. Finally, he was interviewed as part of the Reflections on Georgia Politics oral history series in October of 2008. You can stream the full interview by clicking HERE.

More About Erwin Mitchell
Harlan Erwin Mitchell was born in Dalton, Georgia, on August 17, 1924. He served as a first lieutenant in the United States Army Air Corps (1943-46) during World War II. He returned to Georgia in 1946 and earned an L.L.B at the University of Georgia School of Law. Following further service in the U.S. Air Force (1951-52), Mitchell became solicitor general, and briefly served as a Superior Court judge, for the Cherokee Judicial Circuit.

In early 1958 Mitchell was elected as a Democrat to the 85th Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Henderson L. Lanham (7th District) in November 1957. He won re-election the following year and during his term in the House (1958-61), he served as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Patents and Scientific Inventions, as well as a member of the Committee on Science and Astronautics and the Veterans’ Affairs Committee. After leaving Congress, Mitchell served as a State Senator in the Georgia General Assembly (1960-61) and then returned to Dalton to resume practicing law.

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