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Crossing the Line

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About the Author

Cecil A. Alexander, Jr. (b. 1918) a Fellow with the American Institute of Architects (FAIA), a recipient of the AIA Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award and recipient of the Philip Trammel Schutze Award from Georgia Tech, is a prominent Atlanta architect. His prolific work includes, among many other projects, The Coca-Cola Company World Headquarters, The Bell South Building, and Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta. Cecil is married to Helen Eisemann Alexander, mother of four children and grandmother of eight. His first wife, Hermione Weil, whom he married in 1943, was killed in a 1983 collision with a drunk driver. Cecil and Hermi had three children, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren. He was a Marine Corps aviator, having flown the SBD Dauntless dive bomber (and later the Corsair) in the Marshall Islands during World War II. He studied architecture at Yale, and later received the The Yale Medal. At graduate school at Harvard, he studied under Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer, some of the founders of the Bauhaus Movement in modern architecture. Cecil, a member of the Jewish community, was born and raised in Atlanta. His ancestors fought during the Revolutionary War and for the Confederacy during the Civil War. After flying 60 dive bombing missions with the USMC, Cecil stood up in the Civil Rights movement, working with Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen, Jr. to quell race riots which were threatening to break out, serving on the Mayor's Housing Resource Committee and the Committee to Mediate Racial Unrest. In 1982, he formed the Atlanta Black Jewish Coalition with U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.). Cecil Alexander risked his life and livelihood to bring about positive change.

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