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hearing the children sing “Shall We
Gather at the River?”―a song that
brought him to tears.

His mother, hearing of her son’s
grave illness, made her way to his
side. As she entered the sick room,
their eyes met and glances mingled
with love. The first words he said to
her were, “Mother, my feet are in the
river!” At age 39, the man who pulled
the South out of her ashes, the man
who, more than any other, healed the
wounds between North and South, the
Spokesman of the New South, closed
his eyes in death. He was buried on
Christmas Day. His death was report-
ed nationally―The New York Times
described him as…
“One of the South’s most brilliant sons”
Henry W. Grady’s name is prominent
today. There is Grady County, created
in 1905; the Grady High School; and
in 1890, a year after his early death, the
city council passed a resolution to build
a hospital in his honor―Grady Memo-
rial Hospital. The hospital was intended
to provide health care for low income
families in Atlanta. Thus, even after his
death, he continued to touch people with
his influence and love for the South.

There followed the now-demolished
Henry Grady Hotel, the Henry W.

Grady College of Journalism and
Mass Communication at the University
of Georgia. The city erected a statue in
his honor in 1891, which is still located
in the heart of downtown Atlanta on
Marietta Street.

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NATIONS • 11