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Herman Russell adds author to resume

4/11/2014, 6:09 a.m.
Atlanta businessman and philanthropist Herman J. Russell has now added author to his resume with the publication of his book, ...
Legendary Atlanta businessman Herman Russell talks with broadcaster Angela Robinson about his new book “Building Atlanta: How I Broke Through Segregation to Launch a Business Empire.”

Atlanta businessman and philanthropist Herman J. Russell has now added author to his resume with the publication of his book, “Building Atlanta: How I Broke Through Segregation to Launch a Business Empire.”

At a March 31 book release reception and signing, Russell, founder and chairman of H.J. Russell & Co. and Concessions International, talked with broadcaster Angela Robinson about his influence on construction in Atlanta and throughout the United States and battling segregation, poverty and racism in Atlanta.

Russell, a big supporter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and former Atlanta mayor and U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young, was influential in the civil rights movement. He also invested in the Atlanta Inquirer newspaper and several other Atlanta business opportunities, including sports teams.

He recalled joyous times when the Braves came to Atlanta, led by his friend “Hammerin’” Hank Aaron, who was in the audience with his wife, Billye, along with Andrew and Carolyn Young, Xernona Clayton Brady, and renowned Atlanta architect John Portman.

His children – Michael Russell, who is the H.J. Russell & Co. CEO; Donata Russell Major, Concessions International CEO; and Jerome Russell, president, H.J. Russell & Co. – also were in attendance.

Russell says there are few regrets when you give back.

“When you give back, you receive more than you have given,” he said.