Griffin Bell remembered for public service - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Griffin Bell remembered for public service

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

January 7, 2009

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A former United States Attorney General, who served during the Carter administration, was laid to rest in his home town of Americus Wednesday morning.

Griffin Bell died on Monday at the age of 90.

A large, yet intimate crowd gathered at Oak Grove Cemetery in Americus to say their final farewells to former US Attorney General Griffin Bell. Among them, his only child, Griffin Bell, Jr.

"He was a wonderful, wonderful father. A person who provided guidance and leadership to me in life and a person at the same time I knew actually loved me."

And loved public service. State Senator George Hooks was a long time family friend. "He was a humble, but yet brilliant person that helped guide this state," the Senator said.

And the country. In addition to serving under President Carter as the Attorney General, Bell spent 14 years on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, was Chief of staff to a Georgia Governor and an advisor to three Presidents. He also led one of the most powerful law firms in the state, King and Spaulding. No matter how successful his accomplishments, Bell never forgot where he was from.

"He never lost touch with his roots," said Hooks. "He told me many, many times, this is the home place. This is where you come back to."

And it is his final resting place. Griffin, Jr. said on his deathbed, his father told him how history recounts his legacy. "He wanted to be remembered as a person who was sometimes a preacher, but always a servant and anybody that knows him will tell you that's very true."

Remembered as a man who fought for truth in justice and respected the law.

Bell died of complications of pancreatic cancer and kidney disease. In addition to his son, Bell leaves behind his wife, Nancy Kinnebrew.

He also had two grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

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